Special thanks to Dan, who likes diet soft drinks more than we do, for help with this review.
In the early 1960s, the Coca-Cola Company set about developing a diet soft drink. The result of its efforts was Tab, which would remain on the market for decades. But the company wasn’t done yet, and in the 1980s they introduced Diet Coke.
Diet Coke would eventually eclipse Tab, and in 2020, Coca-Cola would finally discontinue its first diet drink. Today, Diet Coke is a staple on grocery store shelves, alongside other sugar-free soft drinks like Coke Zero.
Whether or not diet soft drinks actually help people go on a diet is a matter of debate. Some research, in fact, indicates that people who drink it actually are more likely to gain weight. Why? One theory is that the artificial sweeteners don’t satisfy taste receptors, leading people to seek out other calorie-dense foods.
Nevertheless, Diet Coke remains an immensely popular product, trailing only Coca-Cola Classic and Pepsi in U.S. sales. With a market share that big, you know that other companies will try to copy that success. Many grocery chains have generic or regional versions of a diet cola, and Aldi is one such grocer.
Summit Diet Cola is an Aldi Regular Buy. That means you can find it in stores all the time. At the time of this post, Aldi sells both a 6-pack of 7.5-ounce cans and a 12-pack of 12-ounce cans.
The 7.5-ounce cans are currently $2.69, or 6 cents an ounce, while the 12-ounce cans are currently $3.49, or 2.5 cents an ounce. In other words, the 12-pack of 12-ounce cans is more expensive in total but cheaper per ounce, while the 6-pack of 7.5-ounce cans is more expensive per ounce but cheaper in total. Which one you decide to pick up will depend on your situation.
We picked up the 6-pack. Smaller cans are a recent trend among soft drink makers, and they have been a sales boon for soft drink companies. In looking at nutrition, I compare it to similarly sized cans of other brands.
Nutritionally, this drink has zero calories, 20mg of sodium, and zero carbs. Instead of sugar, the cola contains aspartame, a common sugar substitute sold under brands like NutraSweet and Equal. Both Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi also contain aspartame.
Our tester, who is a big diet cola drinker, thought the Aldi version was good. He felt like it was a close approximation to the name brands, close enough that he didn’t taste much of a difference. He also said he would get it again, especially considering the difference in price over name-brand diet Coke or Pepsi.
Summit Diet Cola is a viable alternative if you’re looking to get a diet cola fix without paying name-brand prices. Our tester thought it tasted a lot like the name-brand diet cola and would get it again.