Draft cola and mystery flavors create an air of mystery and adventure for soda drinkers.
Coca-Cola unveiled a new, limited edition flavor called Starlight, while Pepsi rolled out a nitrogen-infused soda in two flavors.
Both of these new roll-outs from the soda companies align with an overall consumer trend for food and beverage. According to last year’s survey data from Innova, more than 50% of respondents said that post-pandemic, “I want to be more adventurous with my food and beverage choices.”
Coke’s Starlight flavor, a classic Coca-Cola taste infused with a red color, is “reminiscent of stargazing around a campfire.” The drink comes with an AR experience when you scan the bottle, transporting you to a virtual concert featuring artist Ava Max.
“Through limited-edition, sequential releases, Coca-Cola Creations will introduce new products and experiences across physical and digital worlds,” Coca-Cola senior director of global brand strategy Oana Vlad said in an announcement last week. “Coca-Cola Creations aims to surprise, delight and engage global audiences through magical and unexpected tastes, moments and collaborations.”
Pepsi’s draft cola is meant to amplify the soda drinking experience by providing a smoother cola, as the nitrogen creates smaller carbonation bubbles that are smoother on the tongue. This is the first ever nitrogen-infused cola, described as being “creamy, smooth and has a mesmerizing cascade of tiny bubbles topped off by a frothy foam head.”
On the bottom of every draft cola can is a widget which tells the buyer how to properly consume the beverage – by serving it cold, but not on ice, and then hard-pouring the can into a glass to let the nitrogen cascade.
“While soda has been a beverage of choice for so many consumers over the past century, some people still cite heavy carbonation as a barrier to enjoying an ice-cold cola. With this in mind, we wanted to come up with a new way for people to enjoy delicious Pepsi cola, but with a new experience around the bubbles,” said Todd Kaplan, VP of Marketing for Pepsi. “Much like how nitrogen has transformed the beer and coffee categories, we believe Nitro Pepsi is a huge leap forward for the cola category and will redefine cola for years to come.”