Coca-Cola Announced A New Far-Out Flavor

By Charlene Badasie | Published

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Last month Coca-Cola announced Starlight, a “space” flavor that blended its signature taste with a dash of the unexpected. The slightly unconventional product was a hit with soda fans and created quite a buzz online. Now the company has revealed Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte – a gaming-themed pixel-flavored beverage. Like its predecessor, the new flavor is the latest from the soft drink giant’s innovation division known as Creations.

Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte is said to have the Coca-Cola taste folks know and love. But it also includes bright elements upfront and is refreshing with the finish. Speaking about the new flavor to CNN Business, senior director of strategy at Coca-Cola, Oana Vlad said the new beverage makes the intangible taste of the pixel tangible.

To promote their new drink, Coca-Cola Creations partnered with lifestyle and gaming organization PWR which specializes in creating virtual experiences for gamers. As such, the product debuted globally in late March on an island in the Fortnite video game. According to Game Informer, the island features four sensory-inspired multiplayer mini-games called The Castle, The Escape, The Race, and The Tower.

Players who take a trip to Pixel Point can play these games, including one which takes place inside a classic glass Coca-Cola glass bottle. This will be followed by the launch of the limited-edition drinkable version of Zero Sugar Byte in May. The new pixel-inspired flavor is part of the company’s innovation platform for limited-edition products. It is described as the perfect combination of marketing, creative design, and technology.

Since the launch of Coca-Cola Creations, the company has been seeing lots of discussion and speculation about the mysterious new flavors. “Our fans are intrigued,” Vlad told CNN Business. “They love the playful novelty.” Folks have also been drawn to the abstract nature of the flavor descriptions which encourages debate and discussions in the digital space.

Interestingly, the marketing campaigns for Coca-Cola Creations are geared toward customers who love being online. Starlight’s promotional material featured a holographic concert by pop star Ava Max which was accessible via a QR code on the drink’s label. For Zero Sugar Byte, the advertising is focused on the world of gaming. After being introduced to the drink virtually, once folks get a real bottle of Byte they can play an augmented reality game by scanning the pixelated label.

Brands have been marketing their products to gamers for a long time. But as more companies join the trend, competition is becoming fierce. “We believe it’s important to be present in the spaces where gamers play,” Vlad told CNN. She also noted that Coca-Cola has been a supporter of the gaming community for quite some time. The company even has a partnership with game developer Riot Games.

Zero Sugar Byte will be available to American consumers in very limited quantities starting on May 2nd. The beverage, packaged in 12-ounce cans and sold in packs of two, can be purchased through the Coca-Cola Creations site. The new flavor will be available for sale in some Latin American countries and China on May 23rd. Coca-Cola promises more limited-edition Creations throughout the year.