No Fructose Corn Syrup

At the trade show last week, no outside food or beverages were allowed. Instead, vendors inside were giving food and beverages away to promote their products to the attendees. Because our family had stopped drinking sugared beverages a long time ago, I asked the show operators if we could bring in water. The operators said no, that there would be vendors with water in the show. Sure enough, two major soft drink makers were there, and had a high percentage of their own bottled water brands. It turned out that this high percentage wasn’t high enough.

Now, remember, that all the food and drinks inside were free, so what happened next was as much a pure scientific experiment in choice as is possible. With all the boutique options available from both vendors, plus a large number of coffees of all types, slushies, cappuccino, refrigerated fruit mixes, you name it, from smaller vendors, the one thing that ran out first, in about three hours, was simple bottled water. One stand nearby was practically shoving out high fructose slushies at people. Most people who accepted them took a polite sip, and then tossed the rest into the trash. Many people examined the ingredients (HFCS was on the top of the lists of most vendors, I checked) and made a face. The trash cans turned into slushie and sugared coffee soup.

After the water ran out, it still didn’t make any difference. All of that HFCS crap was still considered more or less undrinkable. People would open up some boutique thing, take a few swigs, and then toss the rest. It was a blood-bath. They literally could not give that stuff away. We wound up sneaking out of the venue every so often and chugging a couple of pints of distilled water we bought at Walmart by the gallon. I budget about a gallon per day per person on trips and then we stock up when we arrive at the target location. We refill our bottles from those gallon jugs just for the convenience. We also stop at Zaxby’s  on trips and get chicken strips. We like drinking water there because the filtration on their soft drink machines is awesome, and top off our cups before leaving. There’s a pattern here, somewhere.

In the face of all of that zero-cost market data from the trade show, it would be completely astonishing if these major brands didn’t start making soft drinks with real sugar instead. Any brand that did this would probably take off like a rocket. Until they do, plain old water is going to continue to be the growing #1 beverage of choice.

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Pepsi makes real sugar sodas. There is a huge taste difference.


What show was it. My company just had one in Indy, and that describes it to a tee.

(ed. a different show on the gulf coast. I’m sure most of them have very similar rules to keep big sponsors happy.)


Coke has been importing bottled products – coke,fanta orange and grape, sprite – from Mexico and Honduras for several years. Mostly sold at Home Depot. All are made with real sugar. difference in taste is very obvious, especially if used as a mixer with rum, heh, heh.


We keep a small Coke cooler in the shop stocked with Coca-Cola, Dr Pepper, Fanta Orange and Grape, and three flavors of Gold Peak tea. Not a drop of HFCS in any of it. All real cane sugar drinks in glass bottles. Boy, they do taste so much better!


Don’t forget about those “diet” drinks loaded with aspartame, which will kill you.


I often take an empty bottle into those places and fill it in the restroom. If I’m lucky, there will be a water fountain but the last convention I was at (Indianapolis), there were no water fountains in the whole room. Fortunately, they didn’t care about bringing in food or beverages.
If you need to get really sneaky, there are folding/ rollable ‘water bags’ that fit places water bottles don’t – the one I have holds over 20 ounces and when empty fits in a cargo pocket; I use it in airports to keep costs down.