The sales of diet soda were dropping - and dropping at a faster rate than regular soda. According to a CBS News story, the sales of non-diet sodas have declined 2.2 percent, while diet sodas have declined 6.8 percent.
And I 'm not surprised. After all, I went from someone who publicly professed her love - and addiction - for Diet Coke to someone who cut it out entirely from her diet. I'm sure my two (or three, or four)-a-day habit put Coca-Cola in the black each year.
In all seriousness, I took on on Dr. Fuhrman's Healthy Holiday Challenge in November 2012 and gave up all artificial sweeteners - including aspartame and, by proxy, diet drinks. And though some of those had wiggled back into my diet, I never went back to Diet Coke. Even the moments I thought I'd indulge, like the day it was 83 degrees in the office, Diet Coke never tasted good. In fact, the once favorite drink now tastes like battery acid.
What made me try the soda that day wasn't just the coolness but the refreshing mouthfeel that a carbonated beverage has. I often drink sparkling water, sometimes flavored, and it can fill that void ... to a point. It was with great enthusiasm, as you can assume, that I accepted an offer from Zevia to sample their stevia-sweetened, no-calorie sodas.
I didn't get the BC in the generous shipment from Zevia but a number of the company's 15 flavors - Ginger Root Beer, Cherry Cola, Cream Soda, Grape, Ginger Ale and Grapefruit Citrus.
I was completely prepared to dislike most of these. I had once tried the Ginger Root Beer and found it to be quite unsavory and I loathe - I mean loathe - Ginger Ale. However, I liked all of them with the Cream Soda and, a shocker, the Ginger Root Beer the most. The Grapefruit Citrus reminded me of Fresca, and the Grape was nostalgic.
Now, let me tell you, drinking Zevia is not like drinking soda or even diet soda. There is a taste difference. I gave Mark a sip of the Grape, and you would have thought I gave him Pedialyte. As someone who is accustomed to these type of sweeteners and flavors, I found the drinks to be refreshing and a welcome addition to my beverage lineup at lunch. And, yes, my lunch has a beverage lineup - water, coffee and Nuun/Zevia.
Of course, I think there is a personal responsibility when it comes to drinking a beverage like Zevia. Even though stevia is considered "safe," I am not going to pound a Cherry Cola before a 5 a.m. run, a Ginger Root Beer with breakfast, a Cream Soda at lunch ... well, you get the picture.
The price point is a little higher, making the above a bit more prohibitive - which might be a good thing. Just like Zevia.
- Zevia has no sugar, no artificial sweeteners and zero calories.
- Zevia is sweetened with 82 percent Stevia, 15 percent Monk Fruit and 3 percent Erythritol.
- Read more about SweetSmart here.
- 15 flavors include: cola, ginger ale, lemon lime twist, black cherry, grapefruit citrus, strawberry, ginger root beer, caffeine free cola, grape, cherry cola, cream soda, mountain zevia, dr. zevia, orange, and lime cola. Read the Zevia story here.
- Print $1 off a six-pack coupon here.
- Follow Zevia on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram and use the hashtags #SodaSommelier and #SweetSmart.
Disclosure: Zevia provided me with product free of charge for consideration of review. All thoughts and opinions are authentic and belong to me. Except for Mark's reaction. He can keep that.