PDA

View Full Version : "Great New Taste!" of Diet Double Cola



CitrusCola
06-12-2010, 10:44 PM
As I mentioned on another thread, I was in Chattanooga recently. While there, I was looking for Diet Ski, which I did not find. Unexpectedly, however, I did find some Diet Double Cola. The side of the 12-pack was labeled "Great New Taste!," so I bought one.

I had tried Diet Double Cola a few years ago and I was not impressed; it had a nasty aftertaste and was really acidic. I was not too optimistic about the new formula, but I ended up being pleasantly surprised. While it's not as good as Coke Zero, it is much better than either Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi. It tastes similar to regular Pepsi.

Since I had kept one of the old cans from a few years ago, I was able to compare the ingredients list. There are two differences: 1.) the old Diet Double Cola was sweetened with just aspartame, while the new version has aspartame and acesulfame potassium (the combination used in Coke Zero), and 2.) the old formula lists the nebulous "natural flavors," while the new formula lists the even more nebulous "natural and artificial flavors."

The new version is really good. I wish I'd bought more.

Man From Ohio
06-13-2010, 12:59 AM
Thanks for the post! The last time I had Diet Double Cola was many years (and pounds) ago when training for 10k races with my brother-in-law. We drank Diet Double Cola after running. This was even pre-aspartame. We both agreed it was the best diet cola out of the many we tried.

I recently spoke with a Ski/Double Cola distributor in Lawrence County, Indiana, where I traveled for Ski and Double Cola products back in January. They told me that Diet DC was being refomulated and that the DC company seems to want to push it. At the time, they didn't have any in but they do now. I'm just waiting for a good weekend to travel the 100+ miles from Cincinnati. Lawrence County is about 50-60 miles south of Indianapolis.

I also spoke with another Ski/DC distributor in parts of southern Indiana, which includes Harrison County, which is close to Louisville. They are currently awaiting store approval for Diet DC at Wal Mart, of all places.

Unfortunately for those living in or close to Jackson, Ohio and Wellston, Ohio, a long time Ski and DC stronghold, the distributor there isn't getting any of the new Diet DC in (they used to sell a ton of Diet DC, dating way back to when it was named Diet Way Cola). In fact, they don't even know if they will carry the new Caffeine Free Diet Ski--they're "looking at the costs".

In any event, it's good to know the DC Company is making at least some efforts to push the product. Thanks again for your report!

On edit: I have one question. Does the container indicate how much caffeine is in the product?

Susan
06-13-2010, 02:08 AM
My favorite diet sodas are Diet Cheerwine, Pepsi One and Diet Rite Cola. All use Splenda instead of aspartame.

CitrusCola
06-13-2010, 09:08 AM
After double checking, I was surprised to find that caffeine is NOT on the ingredients list. Here's what is listed:

"Carbonated water, caramel color, phosphoric acid, potassium citrate, aspartame, potassium benzoate, citric acid, acesulfame potassium, natural and artificial flavors."

It also states "very low sodium" and says that a 12-oz. serving contains 35 mg of sodium.

It's kind of odd that they don't label it "caffeine-free" if there's no caffeine in it.

Man From Ohio
06-13-2010, 02:18 PM
I appreciate your checking. The ingredient list also didn't have caffeine when I last drank Diet DC, and that's been some time ago. I agree that it's puzzling why the product wouldn't be labeled "caffeine-free". Based on my admittedly unscientific observations of people preferring Caffeine Free Diet Coke over regular Diet Coke when both are available, it seems the DC Company is missing out on a marketing opportunity.

CitrusCola
06-13-2010, 06:19 PM
Double Cola Company has good products, but the way they do business leaves me scratching my head. On more than one occasion, I've written to the email address on their web page and gotten inaccurate information about where their products can be found.

I've heard that they aren't really serious about expanding their presence in the US market. Double Cola is owned by a British company, KJ International, that is making money by selling Double Cola products in overseas markets.

Man From Ohio
06-13-2010, 08:31 PM
I'm surprised to hear about your experiences when contacting Double Cola. They have never steered me wrong when I've contacted them. One time one of their distributors they directed me to wasn't helpful but it wasn't DC's fault.

I really think they are trying, within their limits, to promote their products. I think that's evident by reformulating Diet DC and the new Caffeine Free Diet Ski. Also, the Ski Facebook page is a great grassroots way to promote Ski, especially among college students among whom Ski enjoys a lot of hip cachet. Competing against the Big 3 is a monumental task, and stories of one of the big three stong arming stores into not carrying DC products are plentiful. The best way those of us who enjoy their products can help is to keep buying them, spread the word to our families and friends, and keep asking retailers, espeically independent supermarkets, to carry them.

On edit: The DC company has also recently entered into an agreement with Ale-8-One to distribute Ski in Ale-8-One's core territory. I see that as a definite plus.

CitrusCola
06-13-2010, 10:50 PM
Last year, I was headed to the western tip of NC, and I had just enough extra time to drive into TN and look for Diet Ski. The person I exchanged emails with assured me that I did not have to go all the way to Chattanooga; I was told that all of the BI-LO stores in Cleveland, TN also carried their products. I went to two BI-LO locations in Cleveland, and there were no Double Cola products there. A guy who worked in one of the stores told me that they had dropped the DC products over a year earlier. He added that he thought the DC company had gone out of business. I sent an email back to the person at DC and told them of the experience, and about a week later, they informed me that those BI-LO locations in Cleveland had indeed dropped their products. They said that the distributor neglected to inform them of the change. That change went unnoticed for over a year?

I asked that same person if they were looking to sell DC products in NC. I was told that they would like to, but that no NC distributor had asked to distribute their products. Shouldn't the people at Double Cola be looking for distributors instead of waiting for distributors to come to them?

I'm glad to hear that Ale-8-One is going to expand the availability of DC products, but that's only in KY -- the state in which Ski is most readily available. If small-time soft drink companies like Dad's Root Beer, Frostie Beverages, and Red Rock beverages can find their way into small chain stores and convenience stores in NC, then why can't Double Cola products? Coke and Pepsi might keep them out of the big chain stores, but smaller stores get extra customers when they offer products that aren't available at Wal-Mart.

fusion
06-14-2010, 08:36 PM
After double checking, I was surprised to find that caffeine is NOT on the ingredients list. Here's what is listed:

"Carbonated water, caramel color, phosphoric acid, potassium citrate, aspartame, potassium benzoate, citric acid, acesulfame potassium, natural and artificial flavors."

It also states "very low sodium" and says that a 12-oz. serving contains 35 mg of sodium.

It's kind of odd that they don't label it "caffeine-free" if there's no caffeine in it.

There is caffeine in it, if it's a true cola.

Kola nut - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kola_nut)

fusion
06-14-2010, 09:02 PM
Last year, I was headed to the western tip of NC, and I had just enough extra time to drive into TN and look for Diet Ski. The person I exchanged emails with assured me that I did not have to go all the way to Chattanooga; I was told that all of the BI-LO stores in Cleveland, TN also carried their products. I went to two BI-LO locations in Cleveland, and there were no Double Cola products there. A guy who worked in one of the stores told me that they had dropped the DC products over a year earlier. He added that he thought the DC company had gone out of business. I sent an email back to the person at DC and told them of the experience, and about a week later, they informed me that those BI-LO locations in Cleveland had indeed dropped their products. They said that the distributor neglected to inform them of the change. That change went unnoticed for over a year?

I asked that same person if they were looking to sell DC products in NC. I was told that they would like to, but that no NC distributor had asked to distribute their products. Shouldn't the people at Double Cola be looking for distributors instead of waiting for distributors to come to them?

I'm glad to hear that Ale-8-One is going to expand the availability of DC products, but that's only in KY -- the state in which Ski is most readily available. If small-time soft drink companies like Dad's Root Beer, Frostie Beverages, and Red Rock beverages can find their way into small chain stores and convenience stores in NC, then why can't Double Cola products? Coke and Pepsi might keep them out of the big chain stores, but smaller stores get extra customers when they offer products that aren't available at Wal-Mart.

The grocery business is ever changing. Resets, new products come in, old ones go out, usually based on sales (or the lack of). Stores aren't in the business of carrying dust collectors, most of them are small with a limited amount of space.

As an employee of a distributor, it would be never ending, time consuming process to contact the companies of the products we distribute every time we started or stopped carrying a specific item in a store. Almost equally useless is calling a store and asking if they carry X or Y. Most of the time, the person isn't going to know. It always amuses me when people buy something, and expect the cashier to automatically know the price. In stores that carry thousands and thousands of items, that's impossible. And with stores like Wal-Mart, it is important that the UPC be scanned, so their on hand amount is correct, so the computer knows when to order another case. Most of the store is automatically ordered by the computer system.

Or when a cashier asks a person what a specific produce item is, and the person responds "it's 99/lb." Ok, but what item is it? Produce items without UPCs have a 4 digit PLU code. Bananas are 4011, and that's everywhere, in every store. Again, the store inventory needs to be accurate.

Not all products are carried in all areas, and not all products succeed in all areas. That's the nature of the business. Sometimes you have to go somewhere else to get something. That's why sites like sodafinder and different ebay auctions are started, because people want things that are not in their area, but are unable, or don't want to travel to get them.

I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but I would be surprised if Coke and/or Pepsi is actively working to keep Double Cola out of stores. There is enough actual work to be done, without creating more work like that. I say, let the brand and their distributor succeed or fail on their own merits. In the DSD business, it's about service. Most stores and store management will recognize good service, and respond with extra displays and such. Unless an actual exclusivity contract is signed, working to keep another brand out seems like bad business to me. We have a program going on right now to reward employees for gaining new local accounts. If the account already carries Pepsi, they don't have to have Pepsi removed for the employee to get the reward, the account just has to carry our products in some fashion.

I think the real issue is probably slotting fees. A small distributor needs to sell a lot of cases to pay the slotting fees that some chains charge. Unless you're already rich, or have access to investment cash, you will probably end up relegated to small independent stores who will probably charge much less, and can be more influenced with gifts - tickets, shirts, electronics, things like that. Or free cases.

CitrusCola
06-15-2010, 07:35 AM
If Coke and/or Pepsi is actively working to keep Double Cola out of stores, someone needs to gather some evidence and report it. Attempts to stifle competition like that are usually illegal.

CitrusCola
06-15-2010, 08:31 PM
The folks at Coca-Cola and Pepsi can breathe a sigh of relief. I received word today that "Double Cola is a caffeine-free product," so it's not a true cola.

jsn
08-14-2011, 02:06 AM
I have a bottle of Double Cola in front of me, with caffeine in the ingredient list. Carbonated water, cane sugar, caramel color, phosphoric acid, caffeine, and natural flavorings. Bought in California August 2011.

CitrusCola
08-14-2011, 11:18 AM
Regular Double Cola does have caffeine in it; only the diet version is caffeine-free.