What’s the Skinny on the New Diet Pepsi Cans?

Press releases announcing the new Diet Pepsi Skinny Can, which is similar to a large Red Bull can and will hit shelves this March, were sent around last week, and blogs like Fashionista and Racked NY have claimed that Diet Pepsi must be angling to replace Diet Coke as the fashion industry’s drink of choice. They’re probably right, considering the folks touting this new branding effort are tossing around words like “fashionable,” “accessory,” and most important “skinny,” but we don’t exactly see the point of trying to change the minds of a group that is notoriously hard to sway.

Diet Pepsi has plenty going for it as a 0 calorie, carb and sugar drink. The marketers behind it would be better off keeping it simple and pushing the Skinny Can (which is 12 oz., the same size as a normal soda can) to those looking to lose weight or quit drinking unhealthy soda, rather than those who already have a diet soda favorite. Call us stupid, but until sampling a six-pack of the Diet Pepsi Skinny Cans, we had no idea that Diet Pepsi tastes almost exactly like regular Pepsi. We can’t say the same for Diet Coke, which leaves a funky after-taste. Perhaps a money-back guarantee if it doesn’t taste like regular Pepsi would be a better hook than sending press releases and samples to fashion bloggers.

Now, switching to diet soda does have its downsides. For one, past studies have shown that those who drink diet soda tend to actually gain more weight because they think choosing a healthier soda means they can eat more. {CBS  News} Not to mention the fact that it is still, after all, soda. Though with Starbucks introducing ever larger cups (the better to accentuate the ever more minimal logo) that not so subtly encourage you to drink more iced coffee, tea or lemonade than some adult stomachs have room for, the mind trick of a taller, skinnier can that doesn’t actually contain any more soda than normal might not be so bad.

If you’re looking to improve your soda habits, and you know you’ll be able to simply substitute in Diet Pepsi for regular Pepsi, we highly recommend the product (though, oddly enough, the new can – a.k.a. the reason we were sent a product sample in the first place – really has nothing to do with our recommendation). But if you’re a water-drinker or you know you like to bargain with your diet, we’d say skip it. And if you’re a member of the fashion cult, rest assured you can keep sucking down the Diet Coke. We doubt Diet Pepsi will take over the fashion world just because of the Skinny Can. The one thing fashion loves more than skinny is its comfort zone.

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