Burgers are better with Pepsi and science proves it

Which burgers go better with Pepsi, photo provided by Pepsi
Which burgers go better with Pepsi, photo provided by Pepsi /

While many people appreciate that all types of food are always better with Pepsi, popular, iconic burgers and that classic cola may not always be on the menu. Although the grill master at home can always enjoy that iced-cold, blue can of refreshing cola with that juicy burger, some restaurants do not have that same option. Is it time to put the science to the test and prove to everyone that burgers are better with Pepsi?

Thinking of food and beverages, there are certain flavors that seem to enhance one another. While many people can think of food and wine with the concept of food pairings, the idea is not limited to those fermented grapes. Just like combining ingredients in a recipe can make the perfect bite, drinking a particular beverage with another food can heighten the flavor experience.

When enjoying a meal out, the beverage selection can fall into a particular category. Unlike the home refrigerator that can be stocked with a plethora of options, restaurant beverages tend to offer one brand. Although the beverage selection is not limited to just colas, the reality is that only one brand is on the menu.

Looking at many of the popular quick service restaurants, one beverage brand controls the drink dispenser. For Pepsi fans, filling up that cup has them seeing red, both literally and figuratively.

Although brand loyalty keeps people coming back for more refreshment, it might be time for everyone to take a bite and sip of this food and beverage combination. According to science, the flavor combinations are the ultimate food pairing.

Why does science say burgers and Pepsi the ultimate food and beverage pairing?

Recently, Pepsi commissioned a study about burgers and Pepsi. According to Chef Kyle Shadix, CRC, MS, RD, former Chopped contestant, and PepsiCo’s Corporate Executive Research Chef for Global Beverages, the flavors within Pepsi highlight the flavors in burgers.

Burgers and Pepsi food pairing
Why are burgers and Pepsi tastier?, photo provided by Pepsi /

“The signature flavor and bright citrus blend of Pepsi cuts through the fat and gives a juicy hamburger a fresh, clean and delightful taste. It’s just like how adding a touch of citrus in cooking can heighten flavor and change a food or beverage’s entire flavor profile, which is why it is used by chefs and mixologists across the world to add brightness and lift the flavors of the foods and beverages they create. This is why Pepsi is a no-brainer to pair with burgers.”

While the concept is one that any cook can appreciate, it is a food idea that seems to be missing from the food and beverage conversation. Some people would not serve a big bold Napa Cabernet with a delicate white fish. Why are people sipping a different cola with a burger?

According to Pepsi, its signature cola has more citrus notes compared to another brand that features more vanilla and raisin flavors. While some people might like those heavier flavors, they may not balance that juicy burger in the best way. Food science seems to say that burgers are better with Pepsi.

Put the burgers with Pepsi challenge to the test for free.

National Burger Day is May 28 and it is the perfect time to put this food and beverage pairing to the test. And, Pepsi is going to give people a free beverage as enticement to take a bite, enjoy a sip and prove why it is the ultimate beverage pairing for burgers.

Todd Kaplan, VP of Marketing, Pepsi, said “We know that burgers go better with Pepsi, so we want to provide burger-lovers with the long overdue opportunity to try the one elusive but deliciously perfect combo – a juicy, meaty, topping-stuffed burger with a Pepsi. Our #BetterWithPepsi initiative is a fun way for us to reinforce the role that Pepsi plays in elevating the taste of burgers, while also reminding consumers that they have a choice when it comes to beverages.”

Burgers are better with Pepsi National Burger Day
Burgers are better with Pepsi, photo provided by Pepsi /

To get this free drink, the brand is offering two ways to receive this offer on National Burger Day. First, consumers can share their receipt via the #BetterWithPepsi ad on Facebook or Instagram.

Or, consumers can share a photo of their burger with a Pepsi on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook with #BetterWithPepsi. The brand “will reach out to verify the consumer’s associated receipt(s) that clearly show a burger and a Pepsi purchase.”

While this National Burger Day promotion is fun and a new jab in the cola wars, it could spark a bigger conversation. Many large, quick service restaurants might want to listen. If consumers prefer the food and beverage pairing of burgers and Pepsi, it might be time to re-think the beverages in the drink fountain. Shouldn’t the beverages serve enhance that burger flavor experience, not hinder it? There might be a blue wave coming over that drink fountain.

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Do you agree that burgers are better with Pepsi? Are you willing to put the science to the test?