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Pepsi Is Never an Acceptable Substitution for Coke

By Kate Hudson | Food Porn | June 16, 2019 |

By Kate Hudson | Food Porn | June 16, 2019 |


Friends, there is a Filipino fast food chain in LA that people rave about and I have been meaning to try since I moved here, years ago. That opportunity finally arose yesterday but I was shocked, horrified, and disgusted to see that after I got a cup for my combo meal that Jollibee was one of those dreaded, yet mercifully few, restaurants that was Pepsi only. Gross.

Pepsi is never an acceptable substitution for Coke, friends. Never. This is a hill I die on. Coke, in particular, Diet Coke, is one of my favorite things in the world.


I know it’s bad for me, my kidneys, and probably my sugar regulation, but it’s the year 2019 in the chaos realm we call America, and I like to snatch happiness where I can. That means a can (or two, occasionally) of that delicious, bubbly, slightly metallic but in a good way elixir that I have to chug before 1 p.m. because I’m also getting older and super sensitive to caffeine now.

I worked at a restaurant that served Coke products. Whenever I took an order and someone ordered a Pepsi, I would not ask them if Coke was OK, because I know lines have been drawn in the Cola Wars and one is usually very loyal to their side. I would simply tell them “We only have Coke products here,” and let them decide if they wanted to cross party lines.

Look, it’s not that I begrudge Pepsi people their own fountain beverage with a surprisingly good fried chicken fast food meal, it’s just that Pepsi restaurants need to do a better job of pointing out that they’re Pepsi places before you get that unwelcome surprise of staring down the barrel of a way too sweet, chemically (and not in a good way) taste of gross.

Coke is by far the market leader and for good reason. Their beverages are delicious. The perfect blend of carbonation, sweetness, and taste. Although the less that can be said of those flavored Diet Coke monstrosities the better. We all have some missteps, friends. Coke is presumed to be the default soda option because it is a by far superior product. No one in America uses “Pepsi” to refer to soda—there’s whole swaths of this country that uses “Coke” to mean that. Let’s stop the charade that Pepsi is an acceptable substitute, cede the territory of KFC and Taco Bell to the Pepsi side, and work out a way to ensure that Pepsi’s contagion is quarantined there. We cannot allow it spread any further. If not for my sake, then do it for the ghost of Joan Crawford.

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Kate is a staff contributor. You can follow her on Twitter.

Header Image Source: Paramount Pictures