Coke’s recent foray into bold new flavors has its latest entry, and it’s a doozy.
Last month, Coca-Cola announced a new limited-edition beverage: Coca-Cola Starlight, a red version of the iconic soda with a flavor “inspired by space.” Now the company is one-upping itself with another offbeat offering: Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte, a new flavor that is supposed to taste like … pixels. “Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte makes the intangible taste of the pixel tangible,” Oana Vlad, senior director of strategy at Coca-Cola, told CNN Business in an email. It’s “the Coca-Cola taste you know and love with bright elements upfront and refreshing with the finish,” she said.
Byte is the second beverage — after Starlight — from Coca-Cola Creations, the company’s new innovation division. The company decided to discontinue half of its portfolio a few years ago, dropping some outdated but beloved drinks including Tab. Since then the soda giant has been focusing on promoting its core product, Coke.
That means coming up with creative, limited-time flavors and rolling out intriguing marketing campaigns to promote them. It also means letting customers puzzle over what some of these new flavors actually taste like. The reaction to Starlight has been very good, according to Vlad. “We are seeing lots of discussion and speculation about its mysterious space flavor,” she said. “Our fans are intrigued — they love the playful novelty,” she added. “The abstract nature of the flavor descriptions offers an opportunity for debate and discussion.” In other words, the weird flavors are inspiring some buzz.