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Food Scientist Shares Theory To Why Coke Tastes Better At McDonald's Than Anywhere Else

By maks in Food On 16th April 2024
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There's just something delightful about enjoying a cool, sweet Coke at McDonald's, but have you ever wondered why it seems to taste better there?

It’s almost become a well-known fact that Coke—whether regular or Diet—just hits differently when you sip it at this famous fast-food place.

Social media users seem to agree, often sharing their love for McDonald’s Coke online.

On X, previously known as Twitter, one user wrote: "McDonald's Coke is Undefeated. S-Tier Soda/Pop."

Coke just tastes better at McDonald's, right? Credit: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Another chimed in with, "McDonald's has the best coke! there's no debate!" 

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While a third shared, "McDonald's coke has never failed me."

So, with such widespread agreement that Coke just tastes better at McDonald's, you might be curious about the reason behind this.

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Why does Coke taste better at McDonald’s?

There’s been a lot of speculation about whether McDonald's has a special Coke formula, which has led to various conspiracy theories, especially since the same drink can taste so different from one place to another.

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A food scientist has recently shed light on this topic, as theories start to spiral.

"Soft drink producers generally use their own water supplier or a filtration system to enhance water quality," explained scientist Abbey Thiel to Parade last week.

A scientist has shared why it tastes better. Credit: Gado/Getty Images

They often remove chlorine, which can give a 'disinfectant' taste, adjust the water hardness—which influences the drink's acidity—and take out iron to avoid color and flavor issues.

"Without these treatments, you end up with a Coke that might have off-flavors and smells due to low-quality, inconsistent water."

What has McDonald's said about this?

The Coke recipe used at McDonald's has intrigued many for years, prompting the company to make an official statement.

In 2021, McDonald's stated: "There are many reasons the Coca-Cola® tastes so great at McDonald's."

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"We simply follow the guidelines set by Coca-Cola® and take steps to ensure that we serve a high-quality fountain beverage."

"The water and Coca-Cola® syrup are pre-chilled before entering our fountain dispensers with the ratio of syrup set to allow for ice to melt."

Credit: Getty Images

"We also keep our fountain beverage system cold so your drink is always refreshing."

"In order to ensure our drinks are always meeting a gold standard, we filter all the water before it enters fountain dispensers."

Interestingly, even the straw contributes to the superior taste experience.

"It's slightly wider than a typical straw so all that Coke® taste can hit your taste buds," the statement concludes.

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