Why me? Dammit, Coke, you’ve done it again!

I can’t believe that this is happening again.

Why me?

It is becoming more and more clear, that I must have a target painted on my chest that says, “hey Coca-Cola, feel free to fire at will.”.

Alas, unfortunately, what I speak of is not the first betrayal of my trust in tasty beverages. Coke has forsaken me in the past, and now, they have come back to re-open the wound. Although, it appears that this time, they seek to leave a permanent aching scar. This begs me again to ask, why, Coke, why do you do this to me?

To begin, we should probably reminisce for a moment, to gain a little perspective into the past betrayal I have fallen victim to. Back in November of 2005, I read that Diet Coke Vanilla, the tastiest tasty beverage in the world, was being phased out, to be replaced (as if) by Diet Black Cherry Vanilla. I was so devastated and hurt, that I wrote Coke a letter. My cries went unheard, and my pleas went unanswered. When Coke continued twisting the knife in my gut, I finally conceded defeat, and gave in to their demands; I bid farewell to my faithful friend, Diet Vanilla Coke. Fortunately, the wound healed, as Diet Black Cherry Vanilla proved to be an adequate, although definitely subordinate, replacement. Diet Black Cherry Vanilla was like a bandage on my wound (a second love, if you will), and over the years, it has truly healed, and I finally felt whole again.

I honestly thought, that I was on a plateau again. I could smell the flowers, breathe the air in peace, and enjoy tasty beverages again. I was me again. My faith in Coca-Cola was restored, and it showed me, that they had never truly left me, even though they had to hurt me in the process of showing me. But, I never expected, that again, we would be heading down this dark road. I never thought that Coca-Cola would stoop that low again, especially after I have proven time and again, that yes, I am loyal. Yes. I will stay. Yes. I do love you, Coke.

But I sit here, with a tear in my eye, to tell you, that a dark day has come once again. Three little words that should have meant excitement and the potential return of an old friend have left bitter feelings of betrayal once again: Vanilla Coke Zero. At first, I thought this was a new dawn for my old friend. A new, fresh start, in a place where I could proclaim my love openly and freely again, without fear of retribution. I hoped that I could once again frolic with my long lost tasty pal, Diet Vanilla Coke, but this time, it would have a new name, and a new look; but underneath have the same heart and soul that I had fallen in love with so long ago.

When I first saw the case of Vanilla Coke Zero, I gasped. It was like seeing an old friend after years of being apart. I couldn’t speak. I just stood there, welling up with excitement; this was going to be a good day. I could feel it. It wasn’t even on sale, but that didn’t stop me. I bought a case, put it in my car, and knew I was bringing an old friend home again. When I got there, I unloaded the car, and brought my friend inside, and made it comfortable amongst the other refrigerated items. The anticipation was very high, but I knew it was going to be worth it.

Several hours later, I was finally ready to be reacquainted with my old friend, and anxiously, I reached for a can. This was the time, I thought to myself. This is it. My hand was shaking as I popped the top, and in an instant, a sweet nectar was flowing from the can.

But what I felt wasn’t relief. It wasn’t a sense of togetherness, and reunion. It was a taste I had tasted before; the bitterness of betrayal. Only, this time, there was no light at the end of the tunnel. This “replacement” was no formidable, nor acceptable, equivalent to my new friend, Diet Black Cherry Vanilla. This new stranger was no friend at all. It was all a lie.

I asked myself, where was the vanilla flavor, the flavor that had gotten me through many nights of studying in grad school? Where was the sweet deliciousness that had quenched my thirst on many a hot Atlanta summer’s eve? Where was my desire that I had been longing for all these years? And perhaps most of all, I wondered, why would Coca-Cola give me false hope that they were bringing back a first love, when it was all a lie, and to make it worse, this new “beverage” will take away the new love too? I feel so alone.

The answers I seek are tragically simple. My love is lost. Forgotten. Tossed aside, and buried. Coca-cola has truly shit on our friendship. They have shown me that loyalty does not equal trust. Loyalty will be rewarded with second-rate less-than-tasty beverages that will phase out even your new friends, the friends that helped you recover after last time. Loyalty means nothing. And that truly hurts.

I can only hope, even though it is a small amount of hope, that Coca-Cola is still working towards perfecting this recipe, and that future shipments will contain more deliciously tasty vanilla flavor; because even through the cynical callous that has become my tastebuds, I can tell that there is at least a hint of it there. They want it to be there; even the name suggests that this is so. I, of course, want it to be there too. I can only hope, that it will be in the future.

Coca-Cola, listen to me, I beg you. Please. Please do not disappoint me, after this, your second betrayal. Please, send forth an adequate replacement for my new friend, who tried its best to replace my one true love. Please, for the sake of my tasty beverage enjoyment, think of us, those that provide you with the loyalty and brand recognition you desire, and give us what we need; a tasty, calorie free, truely vanilla coke. I pray my cries will be heard. But alas, at this moment, I am bewildered, lost, and afraid. I can only hope that the future will hold good things, but only time will tell. Only you have the power to truly fix this situation, and I will just have to wait and see if you will.

Yes, only time will tell.

67 comments for “Why me? Dammit, Coke, you’ve done it again!

  1. Dick Boococky
    June 28, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    They stopped making Coca Cola Zero Vanilla.
    Fuck me!!!

  2. Paula
    September 7, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    I just got back from Walmart, Walgreens, Aldi, K-Mart and Piggly Wiggly. None of these stores had Vanilla Zero Cokes in stock. For the past several weeks, I wasn’t able to find my FAVORITE diet drink anywhere, thinking that they were just sold out. I should have known I smelled a rat. I finally find a diet drink that I absolutely loved, and now, I hear that it’s being discontinued. I know that I will never find a better diet drink. I hope that you will somehow continue to sell my vanilla zero coke again soon. I do love the regular vanilla coke as well, but, am trying to avoid so much sugar.

  3. Finn
    January 14, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    Dear Vanilla Coke Zero,

    I’m sorry, but it’s over. I just can’t take the way you treat me anymore.
    One minute I am up and perky and hopped up with your caffeinated goodness and oh so happy from your delicious vanilla taste and then mere hours from that I am doubled over with sever gastrointestinal distress. So much so that one night I almost couldn’t make it home from the F train. Why? Why do you treat me this way? I just don’t understand. So while I traveled hours out of my way to find you in Connecticut and bring you to this great city of Brooklyn and get my drink on with all 36 of you I have only made it through 10 and each time with a greater pain and disappointment.

    So now my friend I have to let you go. All 26 of you must be kicked to the curb. I am sure there will be some other person out there who will love you and be kept awake by you at that slow 3:00 post lunch drowsy time or who will quietly cry in the handicapped stall as their guts are ripped apart from the Aspartame overdose.

    Please be kind to their colon, whoever it may be.

    I will never forget you, trust me.

  4. Randi
    February 18, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    I’m tired of being teased by both coke and pepsi! diet vanilla coke came and went, I got used to diet vanilla pepsi, then, at a movie, during the advertisements, heard the “Welcome Back Kotter” song, but they were singing about Vanilla coke zero! I’ve gone from pepsi, back to vanilla coke zero, but again, finding it hard to get! Just got what I believe to be the last 6 12 packs in Knoxville TN!

    So, my trips will be to Walmart, to the coffee isle, and buy sugar free vanilla syrup, put it in a squirt bottle, and add it to generic diet cola’s, as the others that we’ve been very loyal to and spent WAY too much money for, are pretty much giving us diet/zero/vanilla coke fans the finger! I’ll give it right back! oh well………………………

  5. Barbara
    February 24, 2009 at 10:58 am

    I just called the Industry and Consumer Affairs Dept of Coca Cola in Atlanta, Georgia (1 800 438-2653) Joslyn said the syrup and concentrate for Zero Vanilla is still in production. Yes!! Possibly the local distributor has stopped bottling. She gave me the phone for our local bottler but they’re not open yet.


  6. Ken
    July 31, 2009 at 12:06 am

    I love coke vanilla zero.

  7. Jon
    January 6, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    I just bought a 12-pack of Coke Vanilla Zero, and it’s not bad. I’ve never had Diet Vanilla Coke so I have nothing to compare it with. It’s definitely drinkable, but I don’t see myself ever buying it again.

  8. Nicole
    April 21, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    Coke Vanilla Zero is by far the best tasting coke!! I wish they could somehow make it healthy!

  9. Craig
    May 25, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Really, if it’s vanilla you want in a soda, why aren’t you just drinking Cream Soda? A good one is way better than any Coke variant.

  10. Leslie
    June 27, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    I guess the folks in Alabama gave up on Coke Vanilla Zero years ago. I think it’s been almost 2 years since we haven’t had it. Guess I can buy sugar-free vanilla syrup and make my own.

  11. March 18, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    Doug, much like you I was hurt by Coke’s treatment of Diet Vanilla Coke (http://www.numtopia.com/terry/blog/archives/2005/12/coke_has_no_sense_of_humor.cfm.)

    However, in 2009 I made my first trip to Australia, where I was confronted by an amazing sight… Diet Vanilla Coke. Not Vanilla Coke Zero, but real, frickin’ Diet Vanilla Coke.

    I’ve been back 3 times since, and every time I drink it like a madman. I actually had my Amex blocked because of too many identical purchases at a 7/11 there.

    In short, get thee to Australia, and live like a Diet Vanilla Coke King.

  12. Electrofro
    May 15, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Like some of you, I never had the opportunity to drink diet vanilla coke. As such, I have nothing to compare coke vanilla zero with. Its interesting though, because I used to LOVE diet coke and HATE zero. But over time my taste has changed; I now feel diet coke is very biting and anemic. In contrast, coke zero (esp. vanilla) bursts with balanced flavor. But OMG…it is a liquid dream that grows on you more with each can. For years, I’ve missed it, like an old friend moved away. But last week I couldn’t believe my luck: there it was in all of its wonderful glory! For most things, I’m not a brand-loyalist, but this liquid concoction of smooth deliciousness is just irresistible. It is amazing to me, in fact, how with each new can about once a day, the craving for it becomes stronger. Now I understand this post sounds like a recurring addiction: yikes! I’m not an addictive personality, except one it comes to this one thing. crazy.

  13. Jeff
    January 11, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    I love this article, Duane. I can’t say I know where you’re coming from but this is a good read. Thanks.

  14. February 20, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    I have never tasted another type of coke than the classic coca cola. When I heard about Diet coke vanilla I thought that this MUST be the coolest thing ever invented, it was then my heart fell they dont sell it in Norway!!!!!!

  15. Chase
    May 16, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    Vanalla Coke And Diet Vanalla Coke are BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK if you wanted to know

  16. November 21, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    Well they might not have Diet Coke vanilla or Vanilla Coke Zero but they still have Coke vanilla where I live and it’s really good I live in Alabama and the Vanilla Cokes are everywhere(almost)but u can just walk into a gas station and get one they are not hard to find where I live and my English teacher always gets Vanilla Coke Zero I think she said she got it from Walmart or windixie but she still drinks them but I think now they only come in cans where I live if u want Vanilla Coke Zero

    If there is anymore questions ask me and I will try to answer them anyways???

  17. December 16, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    So, I was googling Coke Zero Vanilla and would like to let you know..

    It’s been back for a bit and even sort of tastes like a coke float.

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