Coca-Cola's Newest Drink Has An Unusual Flavor

Coca-Cola is such a classic that more than a decade ago, it abandoned using the word "classic" to describe its original cola product, per The New York Times, redundant as it was. Nevertheless, the soft drink behemoth has been on an "out with the old, in with the new" tear. In 2020, Coca-Cola announced it was phasing out 200 of its beverage brands – none true fan favorites (except, of course, among sparse fans within certain demographics, per Fast Company). Since then, it's been a long, sweet goodbye to Odwalla, Tab, and Feisty Cherry Diet Coke, among others. In the place of the erstwhile (or imminently so), brands, Coke has been rolling out some new beverages, the most innovative of which are being developed under the auspices of a tech-centric platform dubbed Coca-Cola Creations, per a February 22 Coca-Cola press release

"Through limited-edition, sequential releases, Coca-Cola Creations will introduce new products and experiences across physical and digital worlds," the company announced while launching Coca-Cola Starlight – a cola-like beverage meant to evoke "the feeling of a journey to space." (Food Network describes Starlight as reddish-hued and tasting like fruity yet minty cotton candy with a hint of vanilla.) Yesterday, the company announced a brand new flavor that seeks to take tastebuds to an entirely new plane. And let's just say if Coca-Cola Starlight had an unusual taste, then we may need a new word for "unusual" when describing the new Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte.

Coca-Cola's newest drink tastes like ... pixels!

When we say that Coca-Cola's newest drink has an unusual flavor, we don't mean "unusual" in the sense that it's a food flavor that isn't normally applied to soda (for example, pepperoni pizza or potato chips). We mean it has a taste that is not associated with food, period. Coca-Cola's soon-to-be-released Zero Sugar Byte flavor, the second from Coke's innovative Creations platform, will "transcend the digital and physical worlds" by tasting just like pixels. Whatever pixels taste like. "The drink's bright, upfront taste is reminiscent of powering up a game," the company said in a press release yesterday. And it appears that the company is looking to market the new flavor to gamers as a "perfect gaming companion."

As of April 4, the new flavor has already been launched in some Latin American countries in what the company calls "extremely limited quantities." Coke Zero Sugar Byte will become available in the U.S. on May 2, at which time it will be sold exclusively in twin packs of its slim-style cans via the Coca-Cola Creations website. The product will launch in China later that month. 

Coca-Cola's new Zero Sugar Byte flavor will be, as the name suggests, a zero-sugar soda. Like Starlight, and, presumably, other creations, its release will feature metaverse tie-ins, including an interactive gaming experience that takes players through immersive virtual rooms, each posing their own challenges that must be approached via teamwork with other players.