Mr. Tidbit had barely recovered from last week’s discovery of Coca-Cola in little wasp-waisted metal bottles when he came across a display of Coca-Cola in 8-ounce glass bottles — in green cardboard six-pack cartons. The band around the neck of each bottle was green instead of Coke’s signature red.
He first thought Coke was jumping the gun on an unlikely St. Patrick’s Day promotion. But on closer examination, he found it to be a new product: Coca-Cola Life — no, not Lite; Life. Mr. Tidbit can’t begin to imagine what calling it “Life” is supposed to mean.
In any case, Coke Life is sweetened with a mixture of cane sugar and stevia, which brings the calorie count for an 8-ounce bottle to 60. It contains 16 grams of sugars. The same amount of regular Coke (sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup) has about 90 calories and 27 grams of sugars.
Besides the glass bottles, Coca-Cola Life is available in eight-packs of 7 1/2-ounce cans.
Meanwhile, Pepsi has launched Pepsi True, sweetened with (guess what) sugar and stevia, sold in (guess what) 7 1/2-ounce cans, whose color is (guess what) green. It has a calorie count of (guess what) 60. Guess how much sugar it contains: Yup. 16 grams. (You’re good at this.)
Mr. Tidbit doesn’t know which product came first. Coke Life was introduced a while ago in Argentina, Chile, Great Britain and Mexico, and more recently in some Southern states; at this point Pepsi True appears to be available only at Amazon.com.
Mr. Tidbit must acknowledge here, too, his inability to imagine what calling it “True” is supposed to mean. At least, he notes, what some snarkers will surely enjoy calling regular Pepsi, by contrast to Pepsi True, isn’t quite as awful as what the name “Coke Life” will doubtless impel such folks to call regular Coke.
New in the cracker aisle is Cheez-It Crunch’d, a puffed-up version of the little cheese cracker, in Cheddar Cheese or Hot & Spicy. Mr. Tidbit would say it’s halfway between a cracker and a cheese curl. The bag says it’s “crunchy, puffy and still 100 percent Cheez-It.” It might be the first food product spelled with an apostrophe-D.
Mr. Tidbit is a weekly feature that examines new grocery products.