Why is store brand soda so crappy?

Sure, I can walk into walmart and buy Sam’s club soda for 25 cents a can, but with the taste of it, i’d rather drink water… can it be THAT difficult to produce good-tasting soda? I had some safeway brand rootbeer the other day, and it tasted like carbonated water with the same rootbeer flavoring found in rootbeer barrels candy… Does anyone know if it is cost prohibitive to make good soda? wouldn’t they sell more if it tasted good?

– Karl Butcher
Y2K compliant since 1836

Ohhh, I love generic cola, its cinnamony… yumm…


I agree that most store brand soda is pretty bad. And if it’s all carbonated sugar water with a little bit of flavoring, how much could the flavoring contribute to the cost? So why not use the expensive (i.e., good-tasting) flavoring?

The only store brand soda I like is Costco’s Simply Great Grape Soda. And that’s a one of a kind. Costco’s orange soda is the same old yucchhh!

“non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem”

The answer’s pretty simple. If you tried to put out a good-tasting, cheap soda, Pepsico (or CocaCola) would have your legs broke!

My taste buds must be in a league of their own. I like a lot of generic soda. Generic Cola doesn’t taste like Coke, but then Coke doesn’t taste like Pepsi. But to me they all taste like cola.

I’m not going to trash your tastebuds, but if generic cola tasted like good cola, pepsi and coke would not be making millions (billions?) of dollars annualy… My real question is why is pepsi so expensive compared to generic brands…

I will concede that marketing costs may contribute to the price of pepsi, but if it didn’t also have a great-tasting soda, all the marketing in the world wouldn’t convince people to buy it.

There is a definate edge that pepsi and coke have over the generic brands, and I would like to know why the generic brands don’t get a clue and make good soda.

I will also concede the point that some generic sodas, mostly single-fruit flavors that the national brands don’t sell, do taste good.

– Karl Butcher
Y2K compliant since 1836

Coke is cheaper now than it’s ever been. Here in Canada, I buy 12-packs of cans for $3.49. In the 80’s, a can of Coke was 75 cents, and even in the 60’s a 10oz bottle of Coke was a dime, which is a lot more than 30 cents in adjusted dollars.

Coke is cheap enough now that I wouldn’t even consider buying generic pop.

I don’t know if you consider Faygo a generic. But Faygo Cola and Orange are my 2 favorite types of soda!

You’ve been brainwashed by Madison Avenue.

There is good store brand soda, and there is bad store brand soda. Sam’s cola isn’t bad, it’s just different (admittedly it’s not Royal Crown Draft, but then neither is Coke or Pepsi). I can live with most store brand colas, and I quickly learn which ones I can’t stand and don’t get them more than once.

I’m a lot more picky about root beer. I’ll generally pay the difference and get A&W or IBC, or occasionally I’ll splurge and get Henry Weinhard’s. And I’ve gotten to the point where I won’t even TRY store brand lemon-lime sodas; if it’s not Sprite or 7Up I don’t want any.

Besides, store brand sodas are sometimes fun because they come in bizarre flavors: Sam’s Raspberry, Hi-Vee Grapefruit, or one of the Shasta (I know it’s not really a store brand) flavors intended primarily for the Hispanic market: Mango or Tamarindo (sort of like thin, carbonated, A1 steak sauce… it tastes better than that sounds, though).