This week Kiwis became the first in the world to get their hands on the new Coca-Cola Stevia No Sugar.

Sugary drinks have been under the spotlight in New Zealand, according to Coca-Cola country manager Sandhya Pillay, and the stevia product has been 10 years in the making.

"Increasingly we are seeing Kiwis wanting to drink less sugar, so we have been working hard for a number of years to develop different drinks that suit every lifestyle and occasion that still taste great," Pillay said.

Stevia is about 200 times sweeter than table sugar but has no kilojoules. This means a serving of Stevia Coke contains only one calorie compared to 142 in a can of Coke.

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It sounds like a much healthier option, but does the drink taste any good?

In a blind taste test we pitted the new product against regular Coke and Diet Coke to find out if the flavour's a winner and if we can taste a difference.

The taste test

Our samplers Gracie and Mitch noticed the stevia option tastese slightly different, enough to distinguish it from the Diet and regular Coke.

Gracie felt the drink was lighter and thinner, with a "piercing earthy sweetness" to it. Mitch found it less bubbly than what he'd come to expect from Coca-Cola. He found the taste enjoyable and said it was something he'd drink again.

Both panellists said although it tasted noticeably different from what they were used to, they saw merits in the drink.

"Anything which means people are consuming less refined sugar has got to be a good thing," said Mitch.

Both taste testers say they'd recommend the drink and agreed although the new taste might not appeal to everyone, it is a good step in a healthier direction.