Coke vs. Pepsi: which one’s better?

Written By Diana Navarrete, Staff Writer

Is there a difference between Coke and Pepsi? Don’t they taste very similar? To be honest, I am not a complete fan of either; it is not my go-to drink. Although, I did write a 10-page research paper on this topic. It gave me a lot of insight to share. 

I was curious to find out what creates a huge debate over the better tasting soda. For instance, my family has a preference for Coke over Pepsi, but when there is only the choice of one or the other they don’t mind (for they both taste fairly similar). Do others feel the same way?

Scientifically speaking, there is a difference in taste between Coke and Pepsi. Coke is described to have a taste resembling molasses due to its vanilla-raisin flavor while Pepsi is citrus and lemony. Pepsi even consists of a higher amount of sugar and caffeine which makes its flavor stronger and quicker to taste.

Since the early 1900s, these two drinks have been competing against each other, in what has been nicknamed the “Cola Wars.” Not until the early 1980s was the actual term “Cola Wars” used in the United States.  

Both are globally known, even with it being that they have arguably similar taste. The only big difference is that Americans recall Coke to be a signature drink of the Coca-Cola company for as long as they can remember.

Pepsi has had to compete against the established reputation of Coca-Cola for years, and in the beginning, it remained within the shadows of the Coca-Cola Company. Each year Coke sold a million gallons of its soda, while on the other hand, Pepsi struggled to gain recognition.   

Looking into the history of the Coca-Cola Company, it was established before Pepsi in 1892, and thus has had a greater advantage over Pepsi. It turned into a United States cultural institution and a global symbol of American taste, having now existed for 133 years. How could Pepsi beat such a title?

Not until the early 1900s were both beverages in the market and part of American culture, for many years they headbutted with one another and were loved by consumers.

Throughout history, each company has had its ups and downs and great years. Both have the goal of maintaining the interest of its consumers and gaining new ones. Notably, Pepsi moved its way up to the status of Coca-Cola during WWII with its logo colors representing American pride and packaging in cans.

What many people don’t know is that things got really heated up in 1975 when Pepsi-Cola attempted to have its call to fame through the Pepsi Challenge and the battle even got carried into outer space. 

Representatives of Pepsi were sent out to public places to encourage participants to take part in a blind taste test of Coke and Pepsi. From the results, the majority of the participants favored the taste of Pepsi. 

They went one step forward in 1985 to modify both products to withstand zero gravity and allow astronauts to drink them onboard the Space Shuttle Challenger.  

The “battles” of the Cola Wars can go on and on, for it is a never-ending cycle.  Both companies yearn to have their signature beverage recognized as the better drink.  

In the end, it all revolves around advertising and the attention that the product gets. It is susceptible to change, for when one company creates something new in strategy, by technique or in products, the other company will mimic or create a better version of that thing.

There is no true winner or end to the Cola Wars, so take my advice and make your own personal decision. Disregard what statistics state or the opinions of others, for we are all different and have different preferences.