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Three Surefire Ways to...

Three Surefire Ways to Find Soda with Cane Sugar

 New, smaller soda makers are capitalizing on Coke and Pepsi’s insistence on using high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in their drinks. Colas like Boylan’s Cane, Red Rock, and Afri-Cola have begun inching their way into mainstream stores, much to the chagrin of Coke and Pepsi.


For more than 25 years the Coca Cola company has been using HFCS in its original formula drink. The switch from cane sugar happened during the roll out of New Coke and the company’s rebranding in 1985. Coca-Cola Classic was reintroduced a few years later, although this time with HFCS instead of sugar which became the norm across most Coke and Pepsi sodas. Here are three options for finding Coke and Pepsi made with cane sugar in the U.S.

Option #1: Kosher Coke & Pepsi for Passover
Now with Passover fast approaching, Kosher Coke and Kosher Pepsi are starting to appear on the shelves. These versions of Coke and Pepsi are both made with cane sugar instead of HFCS, and most reviewers say they prefer the taste. In addition they avoid the purported negative effects of HFCS including increased obesity and insulin resistance.

The kosher versions are mostly available in many urban centers, but they can be special ordered at most stores through the local bottler. Both kosher Coke and Pepsi have flown off the shelves in recent years with increased awareness of HFCS . Even non-Jews have been purchasing the special versions and stocking up on them. (Image source:

Option #2: That '70s Cola
Last year, Pepsi introduced Pepsi Throwback, touted as a sentimental version of the original recipe and only sold for a limited time. It’s back again for 2010 with a new-old look and will be sold until February 22, 2010. Why the limited time frame? Who knows, but it’s a brilliant marketing move by Pepsi to position it as vintage, avoiding the HFCS argument. Mountain Dew Throwback is also available. Each of these versions add about ten calories to a twenty-ounce serving (260 vs. 250 calories).

Option #3: Destapa la Felicidad
Another way to find Cola-Cola with cane sugar is to seek out the Mexican formula, which is said to taste better than its American counterpart. It’s often difficult to find, but most Hispanic groceries and many restaurants are now selling it, along with some Costco and Kroger chain stores in areas with large Hispanic populations. Originally it was bootlegged in from across the border to keep local US bottlers from losing sales, but Coca-Cola now imports it into the US in small quantities.


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