Why Does Fountain Diet Coke Taste Better at McDonald's? - Delishably - Food and Drink
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Why Does Fountain Diet Coke Taste Better at McDonald's?

Howlermunkey is a part-time writer who got to the bottom of why fountain Diet Coke tastes better at McDonald's.

Why McDonald's Coca-Cola tastes better than Coke from anywhere else.

Why McDonald's Coca-Cola tastes better than Coke from anywhere else.

Have you ever sipped on a half-empty bottle of Diet Coke in your car, then grabbed lunch at a McDonald's drive-through? If so, you've likely noticed the huge difference between the soda you were drinking and the one you just bought from McDonald's.

For years, I would swear to my friends that McDonald's sodas taste better. There are many theories out there as to why, including:

  • "They put more syrup into the mixture."
  • "McDonald's salty food makes you thirsty, and when you're thirsty, sodas taste better."
  • "McDonald's has a secret contract with Coke!" (This is my favorite.)

Well, after all this time, I finally decided to do some research and find out if McDonald's Coca-Cola does in fact taste better and, if so, why? What I found might surprise you.

There are three main things that make McDonald's Coca-Cola taste fresher.

There are three main things that make McDonald's Coca-Cola taste fresher.

What Sets McDonald's Coca-Cola Apart?

1. McDonald's Uses Quality Water

First of all, McDonald's invests a fair amount of money—more than most (if not all) of the competition—to ensure that each of its restaurants has a high-end water filtration system. They use the best equipment money can buy and have routine maintenance programs in place to maintain the entire system, front to back.

2. Cold Water Holds More Carbonation

Second, insulated tubing is run from the back refrigeration unit all the way to the front and drive through units. The soda water is constantly recirculated through this frigid tubing system so that it can remain between 33–38 degrees at all times.

Cold water can hold more CO2, which means that it can become more carbonated. Better soda water ultimately makes a crisper soda.

The CO2 carbonators themselves are actually submerged in ice water. The average temperature of the soda coming out of the fountain at McDonald's is 36 degrees. Management is also trained to check temperatures and calibration settings. Even the syrup lines are bundled with the soda lines to chill the syrup!

3. More Soda Sold Means a Fresher Product

Third, McDonald's sells a very high volume of soda. This means that the syrup does not sit around for very long, unlike at other restaurants.

Most McDonald's sell so much in fact, that their syrup does not come in boxes like most franchises.

The Noticeably Better Taste Is Not by Chance

The bottom line as to why McDonald's Diet Coke—and, for that matter, the rest of their sodas, their coffee, and even their tap water—tastes better is because of the extra attention paid to the beverage systems. Better equipment gives them a huge advantage over the competition, especially when it comes to water quality and temperature. They literally ultra-filter their water twice before mixing it with anything.

Now think about this: Why would you pay for bottled water when you now know that there is a good chance the water coming from the soda fountain may be as good if not better? (Not to mention you get a cup with ice when you ask for a free water.)

Coca-Cola has been working with McDonald's since 1955.

Coca-Cola has been working with McDonald's since 1955.

Did You Know?

  • That Coca-Cola has been sold in McDonald's since the beginning? Ray Kroc, the man who made McDonald's a global franchise, called up Coca-Cola and began the two companies' business relationship when he opened his first McDonald's in 1955.
  • In turn, Coca-Cola has given McDonald's some of its trademark ideas. For example, in 1993, Coca-Cola came up with the idea of McDonald's bundling its soda with a burger and fries, creating the Extra Value Meal. Later on, Coca-Cola also helped McDonald's develop its smoothies.
  • Coca-Cola does not allow its sales teams to sell its syrup to any other restaurant for less than the price McDonald's pays.

Comments

Marcy Bialeschki from Cerro Gordo, IL on May 12, 2020:

I knew it!!!! For years my hubby thought I was crazy because I would have to have a McDonald's Diet Coke. I kept telling him it just tastes better. He does not drink pop, so he had no point of reference. I figured they added more carbonation. The colder aspects and the water filtration makes perfect sense, too. Thanks for making me know I am not crazy!!!

Hashtag on July 04, 2018:

Yeah. I agree

BillP on April 18, 2018:

I agree. Been to McDonalds all over the world. Tastes the best.

Frank Crebase on January 18, 2018:

I have always thought the McDonald's Diet Coke did taste different than bottles of Diet Coke. I was a McDonald's employee for almost 40 years.

I researched it years ago. The formula for McDonald's is different. They use sweet and low in the formula. When I asked why I was told no one would know and it saves the cost of sweetener.

Pre3torian on December 16, 2017:

Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but more that likely they ran out of diet coke and filled it w/regular coke, unbeknownst to the unsuspecting customer. Being on a low carb diet your taste buds are overly sensitive. Was just there and thought "this is way too sweet." Tried an alternative fountain and sure enough I was correct.

Fin from Barstow on November 23, 2017:

well this is something i think i have noticed too. soda at mcdonalds is a little tastier than carl's jr. but then again, fountain soda is better than soda from a can or bottle.

nice article informative.

Jeff Boettner (author) from Tampa, FL on March 01, 2017:

Hi Gina :)

I think the "Naked Mac" is a brilliant idea...all the good stuff wrapped in lettuce..yum. What if we added Kale? Hmm, what about the filet o' fish in a lettuce wrap? mmmm, munkey getting hungry :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Gina Gonzales on February 28, 2017:

This article is awesome! I love McDonald's Sodas. Yes, their Diet Coke is my favorite....I love everything else too. Thank you so much for sharing.

As you're probably aware, McDonald's came up with the Grand Mac and the Mac Jr. Don't you think they should come up with a Lettuce Wrap Mac? I call it the Naked Mac...just think, you still get "two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a big fresh lettuce type bun...yippy..

Gina:)

Jeff Boettner (author) from Tampa, FL on January 28, 2016:

Hey Spanky!

Great to hear feedback from someone in the 'biz'! When you say 6 1/2 ounce returnable, you're referring to the classic glass (vintage) style bottle of coke? If so then I totally agree, seems I only drink those on rare occasions, and nothing tastes like that on a hot summer day. Thanks for stopping by!

spanky on January 28, 2016:

I agree that coca cola or diet coke taste better at McDonald's than any other

restaurant or fast food joints, I worked for Coca cola in the eighty's, saw a lot of changes in those years, transition form returnable bottles to plastic and cans, even the NEW coke that the nation just loved, but I just wanted to put it out there that the best tasting coca cola is a 38 degree 6 1/2 oz returnable bottled coca cola. thanks.

Jeff Boettner (author) from Tampa, FL on January 26, 2016:

Hi Caroline, Angela,

Yes it's true. Not all McDonald's use the steel tanks, only those with high enough volume to warrant the cost associated with using the tanks. So be it, the tanks play a smaller role when it comes to soda quality anyway. The main differentiator between McDonald's fountain drinks and the rest of the planet is the water quality. The second is then the chill factor.

Thanks for stopping by! -- howlermunkey

Caroline on January 26, 2016:

I work at McDonalds. Have for awhile. And you're WRONG. nice try? Stainless steel tanks? Really? Uhm. No.

Jeff on January 25, 2016:

I love their Coke. So good. I almost always drink diet coke when i go just to keep calories lower. I really done like any diet coke even in a can. And MD has an odd taste. Why dont they offer Coke Zero? Its the best.

Angela on January 25, 2016:

I don't know about the rest of the article but the part about the syrup in plastic bags is WRONG! I worked at McDonald's for five years and I assure you that they DO get their syrup in plastic bags just like everyone else. I sure don't remember any water filters being changed either, and I was a shift manager for two years.

Jeff Boettner (author) from Tampa, FL on January 25, 2016:

Hi Bill,

WAY.

Thanks for stopping by!

Andrea E. on January 10, 2016:

I'd much rather have a Diet Pepsi!! Fountain IS better. And when I feel the crave for chocolate, I go to Sonic and get a Chocolate Diet Coke! Mmmmm!!! And it makes my day that the order taker asks, "Did you say CHOCOLATE Diet Coke!!!???" Don't judge. My quirk makes me happy!! Diet Pepsi is still my go to beverage, though! Coke drinkers.... you can keep your soda. More for you, right? LOL!

margie on January 09, 2016:

McDonald's has, by far, the best diet coke out there. (When I'm at home though, I drink diet Pepsi.) I have noticed though that the McDonald's around Chicago suburbs are not filling them up all the way......looks like someone had a few sips first before handing it to me! That's not right!!!!!!! I need a full sized beverage by the time I hit that drive thru!

Holly on January 09, 2016:

The McDonald's in the Detroit airport serves Pepsi products eeeeek

Steph on January 09, 2016:

The information you've shared here is exclusively about Coca-Cola. The Diet Coke at McDonald's is different mainly because it still contains saccharin (like Sweet'N Low) as the sweetener, whereas almost all other Diet Coke formulas switched to 100% aspartame (brand name NutraSweet) in the late 80s or early 90s. So if you like the flavor of the McDonald's Diet Coke, that means you like the flavor from the saccharin.

Helen on January 08, 2016:

I have always thought the Coke from McDonalds tastes the best around. When my kids were sick I would ALWAYS get them a Coke from M.D. To settle their stomachs plus French Fries. It always worked for them. My husband would always say we have Coke at home why do you always ask me to get a fountain Coke when we get take home, I tell him it taste better the can Coke, he always tells me I am crazy a Coke is a Coke. Now I can tell him why it taste better from the fountain. Thanks McDonalds!!!

Cb207 on January 08, 2016:

I used to work for NutraSweet (maker of aspartame), and fountain Diet Coke contains a blend of saccharine and aspartame. That's why it tastes different than canned or bottled soda (that would have a 100% aspartame). Also, the high volume turn over at McDonald's lends to the freshness. Anyone who drinks diet soda has surely noticed the occasional 'bad' soda. This is from the aspartame breaking down. Once it is resolubulized, and hits carbonation, the shelf life is 90 days. This time line matches up with how long carbonation lasts in 2 L bottles, as after that time period, the CO2 has leached out through the plastic bottle. McD's doesn't have this problem with their high volume turn over.

Budapesti on January 07, 2016:

I never drink soda (pop, Coke, etc) nor do I ever visit McDonalds. Why put that garbage into my body when there are so many better options out there?

Kayla Z from New England on November 18, 2015:

Fountain soda is the best ...I rarely drink soda at all,but this explains my adversion to canned and bottled soda!

Jeff Boettner (author) from Tampa, FL on May 15, 2015:

Hi PegCole17!, Yes, I'm a HUGE Starbucks fan as well, and I have heard that they too have a superior water filtration system. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Peg Cole from Northeast of Dallas, Texas on May 04, 2015:

Interesting article and speculation on the reason the diet coke tastes different at McDonald's. I've heard that Starbuck's has a fantastic water filtration requirement in their stores, too. That would account for the consistency in taste from different areas. I'm old enough to remember fountain Cokes at the dime store and they were always tasty and definitely better than the canned drinks.

Jeff Boettner (author) from Tampa, FL on January 19, 2015:

Hi Dude, are you "the dude" or "dude"?. Either way sage advice. Thanks for stopping by!

Hi JC, Exactly my friend :), dolla gets you the diet coke. Thanks for stopping by!

Hi Mandination, I've literally held on to this question since I was a kid. me and my friends used to debate whether or not McDonalds had a secret contract with the Coca Cola company...(people still debate this). Thanks for stopping by, gonna read your starbucks articles today :)

Amanda W from Pittsburgh on January 16, 2015:

I never would have thought to ask this question before, but once I saw the title of your hub, I absolutely had to know the answer. You made some great points that add up to make a lot of sense.

JC on January 13, 2015:

But, its only a dolla!!

Its so cheap, all that attentipn to detail and its a dolla!!

Dude on January 12, 2015:

The plural of soda is sodas.

Brittany on January 09, 2015:

Im a manager at McDonald's, we found out recently that another reason our coke taste so much better is because we get the freshest syrup. When coke produces syrup, it can be almost two months old before it's mixed to become the bottled stuff you buy in the store. But McDonalds supply is Less then two weeks old when. We get it. Fresh is always better!

Nesha on January 07, 2015:

Check out the sweetening system in each. Generally, fast food syrup is sweetened with saccharine, the stuff in the bottle is made with aspartame. Coke's water filtration systems are superior to anything you could find at a McDonald's and it's probably Coke's filtration specifictions that dictate what McDonalds has in place.

Jeff Boettner (author) from Tampa, FL on December 01, 2014:

Hi Terrie :),

Ooooooh, very interesting. Does anyone else know if this is true, McDonald's having their own blend? I would very much like to talk to your source :) (seriously) . So far none of our Coke experts have mentioned a special blend, but have confirmed the equipment and filtration systems. I've chalked it up as Urban Legend but I do try to keep an open mind. If its true I'll have to rewrite this article! Thanks for stopping by!

Jeff Boettner (author) from Tampa, FL on December 01, 2014:

Hi Virginia :), yes agreed, they maintain their systems more often than most. thanks for stopping by.

Hi Coke Man,

Thanks so much for the feedback, nice to hear from a 25 year veteran!Awesome.Thanks for stopping by.

Hi Heather,

I freakin LOVE Starbucks. I'm not surprised that they triple filter their water. On my way to get a Venti Mocha Roight now.........literally, right n.......

Jeff Boettner (author) from Tampa, FL on December 01, 2014:

Hi Coca Cola Man123,

Thanks so much for chiming in! Great to hear feedback from someone who knows these systems. "Also the water is not filtered better at the Coca Cola Plant"...awesome. Validation people :) Thanks again Coca Cola Man123

Jeff Boettner (author) from Tampa, FL on November 30, 2014:

Hi Amy,

Thanks a lot for the heads up, it IS a word already isn't it? Thanks a lot!

Hi D,

We're talking about fountain drinks first of all. Can't compare to a can or 2 liter, and its all about the extra effort that McDonald's puts into their fountain sodas. Go Grab a bottle of diet coke, and then go to a McDonald's and compare the two... I Double Dog Dare you.... McDonald's Diet Coke will taste WAY better........

Jeff Boettner (author) from Tampa, FL on November 30, 2014:

Hi AB,

Agreed, the straws ROCK. It is the little things isn't it?

Hi Steve,

Yeah what's up with that? They should definitely have caffeine free items at the fountain. Have you contacted your McDonalds store manager about this?

Hi Tommy,

I don't know man, I LOVE the Big Mac..., KUH-Lassic, and they have some Crazy menu items overseas. Are you talking about burgers?

Hi J,

Hmmm. Can you still taste it in the sodas then?

Hi April,

Seriously? Thanks for the info, may have to update this article then.

Hi JB, I've heard about that. That guy deserves a Heisman trophy. Freakin Genius. Hopefully he's retired on his "giant straw" yacht somewhere in the Bahamas.

Terrie on November 29, 2014:

I believe the information about the water, but yes, they do have their own blend specific to McDs. The Coke (not sure about diet) actually has a touch of cinnamon in it. (I got this from someone on the inside.) So there is a combination of reasons for the awesome taste.

heather on November 28, 2014:

Starbucks triple filters their water. Just saying...

Coke man on November 25, 2014:

All you would have had to do was to ask any coca cola service man and he would have told you about how and why McDonalds cokes are the best. I had 25 years at coke .

virginia p woolf on November 25, 2014:

They clean their spouts each and every day and change out the tubing that stays cold. They care about your health and do not let the black sludge in the tubes and their spouts.

Coca Cola Man123 on November 25, 2014:

McDonalds uses a Multiplex cooling system for fountain drinks, it circulates the soda water and keeps it at 34 degrees at all times. The syrup is also chilled. McDonalds goes thru so much fountain syrup the Coke syrup is in 3 large 75 gallon vessels in the backroom. Sometimes you will see a large truck delivering the product to the tanks. Now that's 75 gallons of syrup. With a mixture of 4.75 to 1 they sell tons of Coke. All syrup is fresh, not like at your gas station or other places. The water is also filtered with a 5 in one water filter, sometimes bigger. Two large EC210's, with 4 microfilters. It removes any odd taste, rusts or smells from the water. Remember it all works together: Cold, Cold and Fresh, with filtered water. Also, the water is not filtered better than at the Coca Cola Plant. Do your homework, I have. 10 years at Coke.

Amy on November 25, 2014:

A lot is already a word. It is similar to allocate.

JB on November 24, 2014:

The bigger straw is from when a McDonald's executive spent a day working in a restaurant. Employees and customers complained about how hard it was to drink the shakes, and when he saw it first-hand, he proposed the wider straw. I read it in an article years ago.

April on November 24, 2014:

An ice water cup costs $.27 at McDonald's!

J on November 24, 2014:

Doesn't filter out the chlorine in cities where it is really strong.

tommy on November 24, 2014:

If only they put as much quality into their food as they do their drinks. McDonalds serves better food in every other country then the United States. How disgraceful

Steve on November 24, 2014:

Too bad they don't sell diet caffeine free anymore those of us that are diabetic and caffeine intolerant lose out. A simple fix could make a difference.

AB on November 23, 2014:

LOL, I was just going to mention the straws. They are bigger than other places. I think it adds to the product overall.

Like you said, its the little things.

Jeff Boettner (author) from Tampa, FL on September 03, 2014:

Hey Holly :)) , TOTALLY agree, their straws ROCK

Holly on August 30, 2014:

It's is their straws

Chyann Candeloro on July 28, 2014:

It's got "Wow this is incredibly aweosme, I gotta have it" in it.... Duh.

Jeff Boettner (author) from Tampa, FL on July 28, 2014:

Hi Carrie, I cut down on soda myself, but I'll still grab a #1 with a diet coke from time to time :), thanks for stopping by!

Hi Sami, This questions had plagued me for years growing up(seriously) The McDonald's around the corner from my neighborhood had the best freakin sodas. We all swore as kids that McDonald's and Coke had some sort of secret contract going on...one day (30 years later) I just had to find out for myself. Thanks for stopping by!

Sami from Kansas on July 28, 2014:

Wow you really took the time to research this topic, and I find this hub very useful. I always wonder that, myself. It has the perfect amount of carbonation and sweetness all at once. Very interesting hub!

Carrie Lee Night from Northeast United States on July 22, 2014:

Interesting explanation that makes perfect sense :). Unfortunely I don't drink much soda anymore. Thanks for sharing :)

tebo from New Zealand on June 26, 2014:

This is cool because I googled what's the difference between McDonalds coke and bottled coke and a hub came up. Good stuff! Thanks for that information. My son tends to react to coke somewhat but I didn't think he was so bad on McDonalds coke. That's why I searched the topic.

Jeff Boettner (author) from Tampa, FL on June 19, 2014:

Ha! Thank's Trev :)

Trev on June 18, 2014:

C'mon you're gonna hound the guy for using a possessive soda just once? You're too critical.

Jeff Boettner (author) from Tampa, FL on June 12, 2014:

Hi Paul, aha! I always wondered about the straws. Conspiracy theorists have proclaimed that they were bigger so you would drink your soda faster, the shakes and smoothies answer makes more sense. Thanks for stopping by!

Paul on June 07, 2014:

The reason the straws have a larger diameter is because of their shakes and smoothies.

B A Tobin from Connnecticut on April 17, 2014:

Yes I think you are correct about McD's now that I recall...Good read! Best wishes to you!

Jeff Boettner (author) from Tampa, FL on April 17, 2014:

Hi barbat79 :), soda does definitely vary from place to place, agree with you there. So far I think McDonald's has the best, but who knows, maybe other franchises will catch on. (Sonic has awesome flavored soda's). thanks for stopping by!

B A Tobin from Connnecticut on April 16, 2014:

Interesting hub! While I don't frequent Mc D's, I do find in general a fountain soda from a well used and clean appearing machine does taste better! Informative! Thanks for the good read!

Jeff Boettner (author) from Tampa, FL on March 17, 2014:

Where you from Melissa? we're gonna have to send them a letter :)

Melissa Tulk on March 16, 2014:

every time i get McDs around here...its so watered down ! i bring my own soda.

jess on March 10, 2014:

i used to work at a McDonald's. and I will tell you the syrup for everything other than coke/diet coke came in boxes. the coke was in a tank the size of a water heater.

slmd72 on March 04, 2014:

Window Pain, I'm from Aurora, IL and those of us from that area call it "pop"...so it's not just Canadians...and it depends on where you are in the states as to what they call it, each region has a different name for it!!!

MacDonalds does have their own special Heinz ketchup...I've always thought that most MacDonalds have the best tasting Diet Coke and now it makes sense!!!

Jeff Boettner (author) from Tampa, FL on March 04, 2014:

@Chris, I had heard about the tanks but was unsure of the size. 75 gallons ey? good to know, thanks for stopping by!

@pmarinov, thanks for the awesome comments and for stopping by!

PS - I do like regular coke as well (on occasion), think Ill go have a Coke right now :)

Blogger at Best from Detroit MI on March 02, 2014:

Great hub, very interesting comments as well. Keep up the good work!

Ps- I love normal coke, not the diet :)

Chris on February 26, 2014:

Tanks or boxes depends on how busy the restaurant is as well. We had everything in tanks with coke itself pumped into three huge permanent tanks in the basement. They must have held close to 75 gal each.

Jeff Boettner (author) from Tampa, FL on February 07, 2014:

Hi Ellie Shay :), yep, I probably drink WAY too much soda, always have lol, so I picked up on McDonalds sodas at an early age. Thanks for stopping by!

Ellie Shay on February 07, 2014:

Wow very interesting! I have always thought that a fountain soda is WAY better than a can soda, but I hadn't notice anything specific about McDonald's soda. I will pay better attention, thanks! Voted interesting!

Jeff Boettner (author) from Tampa, FL on February 04, 2014:

Hi Steve O, thanks for chiming in, glad to hear info directly from a tech who has worked on this equipment. Very good point on the maintenance of the equipment. very smart if you think about it, they make more profit on soda than any other menu item, and by making sure the soda tastes better, they ensure that the overall experience is better, consistently. The food consistency (temp, etc),can vary, (vary less as much at McD's than other places though -- superior companies preach consistency)..depending on time of day, etc., but the soda will almost always, every time, be freakin awesome :) Thanks for stopping by!

Steve O on February 03, 2014:

A lot of good info in this blog. I think the main key is that McDonald's invests more than their competitors in maintaining their systems. I spent 10 years as a technician who would make regularly scheduled preventative visits to calibrate the machines and evaluate and repair potential problems as needed. Most places aren't going to pay money to fix equipment that isn't "broken", and even the places that do have similar preventative maintenance programs in place do not take it to the extent of McDonald's, and it definitely makes a difference.

Jeff Boettner (author) from Tampa, FL on January 29, 2014:

Wow, just read my comment above......yeah, um, that's what I sound like before Ive had my first cup of coffee hahaha (never said I was a morning person)....(note to self - no comments before noon)....when I mentioned franchises, i meant other franchises such as a certain Chicken Sandwich chain (which I love don't get me wrong, sodas just arent as good)....I think all McDonalds franchises use the basic wax cups, which are acceptable, would be kewl if they sold reusable maybe? Then again, no way to track, too easy to come inside and filler up....oh, and my misspelling of their, supposed to be they're of course, no coffee equals bad spellings from the munkey. Thanks again Gap4

George Patterson from Charleston, WV on January 29, 2014:

Aww. Interesting, thanks for the reply, and for the good read.

Jeff Boettner (author) from Tampa, FL on January 29, 2014:

Hey Gap4 , that's a very good question. I know some of the franchises use Styrofoam to keep the beverage colder for a longer period of time, but, the coke doesn't get poured as well to begin with. I think as far as the cups go their the standard, nothing special, grade that one right down the middle. (they don't hurt), and as much soda as they sell, would be cost ineffective to use anything other than. Good idea though, they should start selling reusable cups maybe? The straws, however, are larger than the average in most chains. Some say (conspiracy theorists) claim that's to make you drink more soda faster, I don't know, but very good question. Thanks for stopping by!

George Patterson from Charleston, WV on January 28, 2014:

Do the cups and straws have anything to do with it?

Jeff Boettner (author) from Tampa, FL on January 27, 2014:

@tutta, awesome!! yep, I thought so too. I used to wonder when I would go through a drive through and compare the stale diet coke to the fresh diet coke I just got from McDonalds...My friends swore up and down when we were kids that there was a secret contract involved...Thanks for stopping by!

Tatiana from Florida on January 25, 2014:

It totally does!! I've ordered Diet Coke from Chick-fil-a, and it was terrible, but McD's tastes nearly like regular! Cool to know why too!

Jeff Boettner (author) from Tampa, FL on January 16, 2014:

Hi Daddy Paul , Always good to hear from another McDonalds fan :), Hive Five Bro

Thanks for stopping by :)

Daddy Paul from Michigan on January 15, 2014:

Yea their pop is good. Thanks for sharing.

Jeff Boettner (author) from Tampa, FL on January 15, 2014:

@torrilynn , I actually picked up on this as a kid, and my friends swore up and down that McDonalds and the Coca-Cola company had a secret contract going... thanks for stopping by!

torrilynn on January 15, 2014:

I would have never thought this due to main fact that i don't drink soda. I find it interesting information, indeed. Thanks for keeping me engaged.

Althea Weller from United States on January 10, 2014:

Thanks for your honesty. Yes I agree, to stay competitive, they have to.

Jeff Boettner (author) from Tampa, FL on January 10, 2014:

@makario, I totally agree. I try to balance my diet out. I don't eat a Big Mac every day :) ...They do have salads and wraps too, you have to admit McDonalds has made strides in making the menu healthier for all. But I'll be the first to admit, once I pass through the doors at the golden arches and I smell the wonderous bouquet of the deliciousness being served up on two or three sesame seed buns...I'm not thinkin wrap or salad at that point....

Althea Weller from United States on January 10, 2014:

Howlermunkey,

You really need to get a job as Marketing manager for A McDonald.

Don't get me wrong, I live in Mobile, AL and we have a McDonald on every cornern or so it seems. However, I am not a regular, because I try to stay on the healthy side.

A fantastic of sorts.

LongTimeMother from Australia on January 10, 2014:

Great idea, howlermunkey. I'll buy the franchise and we'll sell organic fries cooked in big solar ovens (without deep frying), free-range chicken nuggets and cow-fresh milk shakes!!

It might catch on internationally - especially if you do the marketing! :)

Meanwhile though, if you are a regular fan of all those foods I think you'd better read up on Type 2 Diabetes.. They sound great ... as a birthday treat but I'm not sure how your body would react to them too often.

Jeff Boettner (author) from Tampa, FL on January 10, 2014:

@LongTimeMother, where do you live? We need to place a store out there (kidding), I don't work for McDonalds (yet) lol, but who knows, I'm just a fan of their Diet Coke, ........Big Mac, mmmmmm...French Fries, Chicken Nuggets (with the mustard sauce), oooh, BIG Breakfast, hash browns, of course Egg McMuffin, quarter pounder with cheese (Royal with Cheese if you're into Pulp Fiction), ......Steak Egg and Cheese bagel....Filet of Fish ROCKS.....did anyone try the Mighty Wings? Those things rocked the casbah,...the McRib....mmmmm.....then there,s the dessert menu....Hot Fudge Sundae......McFlurry........

Althea Weller from United States on January 09, 2014:

This is quite an interesting read. Good thinking on your part.

I don't drink soda often, and have never thought of a comparison before. I will definitely pay attention the next time I buy fast food.

Thanks!

LongTimeMother from Australia on January 09, 2014:

lol. I live off the grid a million miles from any McD store (or at least it feels that far).

I want to know if you took a job in a store to conduct your research. If so, your boss should give you a pay rise and promote you to marketing. :)

Jeff Boettner (author) from Tampa, FL on January 09, 2014:

Hey moonlake :), their coffee rocks the casbah. I can smell the breakfast menu right now...thanks for stopping by!

moonlake from America on January 09, 2014:

Love McDonld's diet coke and my husband loves their coffee. Vote up.

Jeff Boettner (author) from Tampa, FL on January 08, 2014:

@melbel, heya melbel :)) , yep, I drink a LOT of coke. Can tell the difference, and, these are the deep, important things I think about all day. If howlermunkey were a Simpson character he'd be Homer for sure...."MMMMMM, French Fries... MMMMM Diet Coke", "HMMM, why is Coke so much Better at McD's...should write about it.....MMMMM French Fries.woohoo"....lol, Thanks for stopping by!

Jeff Boettner (author) from Tampa, FL on January 08, 2014:

@fastfreta , thanks for the awesome comments and for stopping by!

@Joyzie, willing to bet that your favorite McDonalds have superior drink systems in place ....(your not crazy :) , I can def tell the difference too :) , thanks for stopping by

@Victoria Lynn, awesome, so you remember the tanks as well? cool, glad to hear validation that they exist. Thanks for the awesome comments and for stopping by!

Melanie from Midwest, USA on January 08, 2014:

Wow! Pretty interesting! I've never really thought about pop tasting better at McDonald's. Pretty awesome idea for an article! :P

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on January 08, 2014:

Very interesting! I love that you researched that. I remember the tanks from when I worked at McD's years ago. I worked there 6 years--through high school and part of college. This makes me want one of their Diet Cokes! And ya gotta love a place that still gives free water! :-)

Joyzie on January 08, 2014:

My family thinks I'm crazy. But I will ONLY drink Coke from the Enon, Park Layne and Sidney, Ohio McDonalds. Now those Cokes ARE the best. My family has tried to pull one over on me by bringing one home from a different location, and I can tell the difference.

Alfreta Sailor from Southern California on January 08, 2014:

What a well researched and written article. Makes me want to go to McDonalds right now and get a coke, only I don't drink cola. However after reading this hub I'm going to at least give it a try. Voted up, Liked Pinned, useful, interesting.

ana on January 07, 2014:

Couple things yes it's a lot and even if you didn't catch it spell check should have.

two it's 'pop' in quite a bit of the states as well as canada.

three, I worked at a brand spanking new McDonald's for 6 years and we didn't have any of that.

2Badd on January 07, 2014:

Why in the world do so many people repeat each other? The soda with an apostrophe, "a lot" opposed to "a lot". Do some research and read other comments first.