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Product Review: Zevia

Posted: Aug 27, 2013

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Product Review: Zevia

I’ve been meaning to taste and review this product ever since I saw a can for the first time while at a party last Halloween. As the woman dressed as a fairy told me, if anyone in her household wants a pop, Zevia is what is served. To date, I’ve only found them at Loblaws sold individually in 355mL cans at a cost of $0.83 each (on sale from $0.99 each). There are several flavours available as indicated on the company website however I was only able to find three: Cola, Ginger Root Beer and Ginger Ale.

The big selling point for many is right on the front of the can: “No Sugar No Artificial Sweeteners”. I’m all for no sugars as sugar-sweetened beverages have no nutritional value and are a large contributor to poor health. I have mixed feelings regarding no artificial sweeteners as the current evidence overwhelmingly suggests that they are safe in amounts consumed by most. For example, a 200 pound man would need to consume 9.4 litres of diet pop per day before he’s at risk of adverse affects from aspartame. Of course, things may change with new research but that’s how science goes and is why my feelings are mixed. Another reason why they’re mixed is because ideally, you don’t drink any pop as regardless of what is used to sweeten it, the acid is not good for your tooth enamel and bones.

But if you do drink pop, Zevia is a better choice as it contains no calories by using stevia for sweetness. And although it hasn’t been used as long as other sweeteners, research suggests that it’s safe to consume. Stevia comes from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant and often appears on labels as ‘steviol glycosides’ which are purified extracts (there are nine in total e.g. rebaudioside A). Stevia is 100-150 times sweeter than table sugar (sucrose). It’s important to note that just because something comes from a plant doesn’t mean it’s safe to consume as cocaine and heroin are also from ‘all-natural’ plants.

I tried the cola and I did not like the taste - I found it too spicy compared to other colas. I later discovered via their website that ‘notes of citrus and spice’ is the flavour profile the company intended for the cola. That’s fair and I’m sure many will find it appealing. I haven’t tried any of the other varieties so I cannot speak to their taste.

If you drink cola and are looking for something different than by all means give Zevia a try. Despite not liking the cola flavour, I’m willing to give the other varieties a sample. Price is an obvious issue as at a regular price of a dollar per can it’s twice as expensive as other pops in the grocery store. But it’s a good choice for those who enjoy a fizzy drink and want to avoid added sugar or artificial sweeteners.

Have you tried Zevia? What are your thoughts? Is it worth the extra cost having “No Sugar No Artificial Sweeteners”?