If you are a soda lover like many Americans are, you may have already noticed that soda from different soda fountains tastes different. The fountain from Burger King tastes different from the fountain from Dairy Queen, and so on and so forth. In addition to tasting different from a fountain to fountain, there are also major differences between the tastes coming from a bottled Coca-Cola and a canned Coca-Cola. Obviously, the preference of which fountain or method tastes better is very personal and up to each specific person, but most people think Mcdonald’s Coca-Cola tastes the best. Not only does it taste better at your local Mcdonald’s but the taste is consistent at every Mcdonald’s in the nation.
So why is it that Mcdonald’s has the best tasting Coca-Cola? The elements to create soda are roughly the same across the board and are easily repeatable so it should be fairly simple to create the same conditions to make similar tasting soda. All soda fountains need to have water, syrup, CO2, a certain ratio of ingredients, a great mix of the right ingredients, and the right temperature to make everything goes right. Out of all of these different elements that go into creating the soda at a soda fountain, Mcdonald’s can only manipulate two of these to their liking. All of the other elements are a part of Coca-Cola’s personal recipe and cannot be tweaked, or it would no longer truly be Coca-Cola.
The two elements that Mcdonald’s can control are water and the overall freshness of the syrup that they are given. C02 is only needed to make the soda have “fizzy” properties and is prevalent in all sodas. Though the temperature can be set by Mcdonald’s, the temperature is completely up to the customer as they can add ice or inversely wait until the soda warms up to achieve a different taste. Since Mcdonald’s cannot touch the mix of ingredients, they are forced to controlling the water and the freshness of the syrup to make their Coca-Cola fountain produce a worthwhile treat.