Review: Mello Yello Zero

Mello Yello was relaunched by Coke in 2010 with retro packaging and national distribution, basically picking up the charge against Mountain Dew from the failed Vault experiment. With Diet Mountain Dew being one of the few carbonated soft drink brands seeing growth for PepsiCo, it’s not a surprise that Coke would offer their own diet version, Mello Yello Zero.

Mello Yello Zero
Frankenstein-like design of Mello Yello Zero

Probably the most notable part of this drink is the design decisions made on the logo. Rather that just offer a diet version of Mello Yello, keeping the 1970s vibe, Coke decided to carry over their successful “Zero” label to the drink.

Mello Yello
Original Mello Yello

What’s most interesting, however, is that they basically cut-and-pasted the “Zero” design onto the existing Mello Yello design, created an odd hodge-podge of “retro ’70s + Zero logo thingy.” You’ve got all this nice yellow coloring and then BOOM, it’s a bunch of black just thrown in there. It’s like a mismatched marriage. It’s obvious that Coke would like to spread “Zero” more globally across their brands, and that’s just not in name, but also in look/feel.

With that said, upon opening a bottle of Mello Yello Zero, you are greeted by the familiar scent associated with the drink. The light yellow color remains. As for the flavor, it’s also light, but the use of artificial sweeteners aspartame and acesulfame potassium are quite noticeable, probably more so than in standard Coke Zero. Those accustomed to diet beverages probably won’t have an issue with this, but for others transitioning from full-calorie to zero-calorie, it’s worth noting. The familiar Mello Yello flavor is present, however, though I don’t think it’s as smooth as the flagship. The harsher aftertaste and seemingly less bubbly carbonation may play into this.


Mello Yello ZeroCarbonated water, citric acid, aspartame, sodium benzoate and EDTA (to protect taste), acacia, potassium citrate, acesulfame potassium, caffeine, sucrose acetate isobutyrate, natural flavors, coconut oil, Yellow 5

A 20 oz. bottle contains 0 calories, 80 mg sodium, and 0 g carbs. Caffeine content is 4.3 mg/oz, which is slightly less than Mountain Dew’s 4.5 mg/oz.