@@img1 Coke C2 and Pepsi Edge are finally here, so it seems appropriate that we bring you a head-to-head comparison of the two. Specifically, let’s take the latest version of the cola wars and see which one comes out on top.
The names “C2” (Coke) and “Edge” (Pepsi) don’t imply that the brands are “reduced” in any way. On the surface this is a good defense against the potential cannibalization that Coke and Pepsi risk with their regular and diet brands. On the flip side, the names don’t explicitly convey the low-carb nature of the products, thereby potentially confusing the consumer. The Coke C2 name has a somewhat robotic ring to it that reminds us of “T2”. Pepsi Edge is innocuous but also borders on generic.
Advantage: Pepsi Edge
Coke C2 and Pepsi Edge both have packaging that retains the look and feel of their flagship brands. Coke C2 has a metallic label with the small C2 logo beneath a larger Coca-Cola logo. Pepsi Edge on the other hand has a more pronounced look to it. The word “EDGE” appears in larger letters compared to Coke C2. The label also states that the product has full flavor and 50% less sugar. We like Edge’s straightforward approach and believe that it will cause less confusion than Coke C2.
Advantage: Pepsi Edge
Having sampled tons of other low-carb beverages, both of these products leave something to be desired. Coke C2 uses a blend of HFCS, sucralose, aspartame, and ace-k which results in a lower carb and calorie count than Pepsi Edge. However, there are definitely consumers that are against the use of aspartame so we think this may be a double-edged sword. Pepsi Edge uses a simpler blend of HFCS and sucralose which leaves less of an aftertaste than Coke C2’s multi-sweetner blend. However, the increased carbs and calories may make the product look less attractive than C2. A switch to an ace-k, sucralose, HFCS blend would likely improve Coke C2 greatly.
Ah, the eternal debate over whether a Coke or Pepsi product tastes better. Technically speaking, Coke C2 has an aspartame taste/aftertaste which is a big strike against it. The beverage would likely be improved by dropping aspartame and using another artificial sweetener. In our opinion, the taste preference will largely come down to one’s preference of the existing regular and diet colas. That is, Coke drinkers will likely prefer C2 and Pepsi drinkers will largely prefer Edge. Otherwise, both products are largely similar in terms of sweetness and quality.
Both of these products are flawed in comparison to many of the high end low-carb beverages that are already on the market. However, this is Coke and Pepsi we are talking about here – so expect to see a lot from both of these products. Pepsi Edge will do better with Pepsi drinkers and Coke C2 will do better with Coke drinkers. Beyond that we still see the potential for cannibalization, but only time will tell if that’s true.
Advantage: Pepsi by a hair…