For years, I’ve scoured the shelves of local supermarkets and convenient stores to find someone – anyone – that carries diet grape soda. Something you can pick up pretty easily in the south, it’s virtually impossible to find it on the shelf in NJ. They’ve got diet orange, black cherry, strawberry.. but not grape? I never understood what was so awful in the grape soda market that not a single vendor in the Shoprites or Pathmarks of the world could find shelf space. I’m not talking about the sparkling white grape stuff.. I’m talking about the purple kind. In fact, a query of ‘Diet grape soda’ on Google has 178,000 hits, blowing away ‘Diet orange soda’ (4,500 hits), which you can find just about anywhere. Perhaps all those hits, like me, are people up north looking for where in the world they can acquire such a mythical drink. By chance, I finally found not only a vendor that distributes diet grape in the northeast, but a local chain that appears to carry it regularly. After the jump. =)
Introducing Polar Beverage Diet Grape Soda! I found these at the Wegman’s in Cherry Hill, NJ in the soft beverage aisle. They were $.89 each for a one-liter bottle, and I picked up three of them. Although I’d never heard of Polar, they are apparently the country’s largest independent soft drink bottler in the US. They also have a mascot (which they’ve been using since 1902) – Orson the Polar Bear – which looks remarkably like the Coca-Cola Bear that the company didn’t start using until 1993. Shame on Coke for an obvious rip.
Oh, and the taste of the drink? Pretty awesome. It has a nice grape flavor with a decent level of carbonation and sells for well under a buck. This is exactly what I was looking for trying to rekindle some of my childhood memories of those calorie-laden grape sodas I used to love but would no longer dare consume. Like Autumn reminded me today, it’s far more satisfying to eat your calories than to drink them. Props to Polar for making it.
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