In my local Sainsbury’s it’s a sea of green, as everywhere you turn there seems to be a display of the new Coca-Cola Life with its green logo. That’s the new mid-range Coke between the full sugar ’red’ Coke and the Diet/Zero versions. It contains sugar and natural sweetener stevia so delivers fewer calories than ’red’ Coke. The reason I am explaining this is because the message has not necessarily got out to all independents. A manager of a forecourt store I spoke to while gleaning info for the soft drinks feature on page 33, said she had heard about Life ie that there was a new Coke but she did not know what it was and therefore did not have it in her shop. And she can’t be the only one.

For those of you who have not seen it/tried it, I have done so on your behalf.

This was a very scientific experiment with two guinea pigs Mr West and I. I thought this was a good test because Mr West only drinks full-fat aka red Coke while I only drink Diet Coke. In my mind that meant that new ’green’ Coke should appeal to both of us. However, I was wrong. Both of us disliked it and said exactly the same thing it just tasted like sweet water there seemed to be no cola taste at all. We then both went back to our favourite colas. But perhaps we weren’t the best guinea pigs? Mr West reckons he can taste artificial sweetener from 100 paces and even though Coca-Cola Life has none, he reckoned it still had a ’sweetener taste’. Me, well most days I am mainlining Diet Coke so I really don’t think anything else will do.

Coca-Cola is putting millions behind the launch of Life with a message that says ’Sweetness from natural sources’.

And the marketing director at Coke has been reported as saying there will be high levels of trial because with Life it’s all about how it tastes.

But another Coca-Cola product I do like the taste of is Glaceau Vitaminwater. I tried it recently at my local cinema. I had a sniffle so tried the ’defence’ one in raspberry/apple flavour not bad, specially as you know it contains things that are good for you such as vitamin C and B6. The drinks are brightly coloured so make an attractive display in the chiller. The latest Glaceau launch here is Smartwater with a campaign fronted by actress Jennifer Aniston. If drinking it makes you look like her, then I’m in!