Aji WOW: Coca-Cola Plus
Aji WOW is my series of unusual Japanese food/drink reviews. 'Aji' (味) means 'flavour', and the name's also a pun on 'ajiwau' (味わう) - 'to enjoy the taste of'.
This time: Coca-Cola Plus.
"Hey, I drink Coke all the time. How come I haven't heard of this stuff?"
The Coca-Cola Company is touting this version of Coke as 'good for your health'. That'll be the added fibre: 5g of dextrin, which the body apparently can't digest.
As a health supplement, dextrin's meant to lower your chances of diabetes and heart problems. Is it as effective dissolved in a fizzy drink? Let's find out, folks.
See this 'health' symbol? It's on the cap and the bottle. I was pretty sure Coca-Cola made it up... until I learned all of the kanji in a circle around it.
"Consumer Affairs Agency approved - food for specified health purposes"
Well, you learn something new every day. Mainly about how much straining to read thickly-printed kanji on plastic will hurt your eyes. Can't imagine this endorsement appearing on any other Coke product.
It's claimed that this drink helps you absorb less fat from whatever you're eating. A bottle a day could benefit your diet. Well, of course Coca-Cola would say that. A bottle a day keeps the marketers away.
Boasting 0 calories front and centre can't hurt, either. Life was just low-calorie, which didn't feel like an advantage with Coke Zero already out. The 'benefit' of Plus is the added fibre. There are zero other reasons to buy it.
Some reports add that Coca-Cola Plus is aimed at the over-40s. Oops. Tell nobody.
Ideally, you're meant to drink it with food. I chugged mine after eating, rather than during lunch. The perils of only aimlessly wandering around the shops on the way back to the office.
It looks exactly like standard Coke. It smells exactly like standard Coke. And it tastes exactly like Diet Coke, because 0 calories. Peel the label off the bottle and there's no way of telling the difference.
As I drank, I decided to research dextrin a bit more. That was a terrible idea.
The 'things dextrin is used in' list doesn't include many edibles. Printing thickener? Envelope glue? Pyrotechnic fuel? It's strangely impressive. The versatility of dextrin knows no bounds. They should market that more.
I stopped at 1 bottle - I wasn't keen on making this a dietary experiment. Didn't notice any difference in the following 24 hours. And honestly, good. If this worked too well, I'd have to buy more.
Verdict: 9/10. It could be worse, it could be Coke Life.