Following Starlight, Coca-Cola’s Latest Drink ‘Byte’ Will Taste Like … Pixels?
From the people who brought us space-flavored cola, the concoction is being touted as the first flavor "born in the metaverse."
What does a pixel taste like? That may sound like a Zen koan — you know, like, What is the sound of one hand clapping? — but it’s actually a question Coca-Cola is promising to answer with a mind-blowing new beverage: Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte.
Inspired by gaming and touted as “the first-ever Coca-Cola flavor born in the metaverse,” the Coca-Cola Company says the new limited-edition soda “transcends the digital and physical worlds” and “will bring the flavor of pixels to life.”
When Does Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte Launch?
Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte’s launch— in select Latin American countries on April 4; in the United States on May 2; and in China on May 23 — follows the similarly out-there release earlier this year of Coca-Cola Starlight, which promised the public “a taste of outer space.” Both unusual flavors are being offered under the innovation-focused Coca-Cola Creations umbrella.
“For our second expression from Coca-Cola Creations, we wanted to create an innovative taste inspired by the playfulness of pixels, rooted in the experiences that gaming makes possible,” Oana Vlad, The Coca-Cola Company’s senior director of global strategy, said in a news release. “Just as pixels power digital connection, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte brings people together to share moments of Real Magic.”
What Does Coca-Cola Byte Taste Like?
So ... what does a pixel taste like? According to the brand, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte has a “bright, upfront taste” that “is reminiscent of powering up a game” and a “refreshing finish” that “makes for a perfect gaming companion.”
OK, so that doesn’t tell us much, but on May 2, curious Americans will have their answer. The new drink will come in twin packs of 12.5-ounce slim cans featuring a pixelated version of the iconic Coca-Cola logo and can be purchased online at coca-cola.com/creations, which the brand says makes “the can itself a portal between the digital and physical worlds.”
More mind-bending details: Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte will be released alongside several “immersive digital experiences.” Among them:
Pixel Point: “an Island Created in Fortnite Creative designed by Coca-Cola and lifestyle and gaming organization PWR” in which players “discover Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte in the metaverse and interact with fellow gamers through a series of four sensory-inspired, multiplayer mini-games,” which are called The Castle, The Escape, The Race and The Tower. “Each immersive room poses its own challenge that can only be solved by working in tandem with fellow players to progress up the tower,” the brand says.
An augmented reality (AR) game: If you scan a code on your Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte packaging, you get access to a game that tells “the story of BYTE, an 8-bit pixel left behind when Coca-Cola Byte entered the metaverse.” You can use arrows to guide BYTE back to the rest of the pixels in the Coca-Cola logo, and then share your finish time on a virtual leaderboard suitable for social media sharing.
Lachlan Power, professional gamer and PWR founder, said his company was excited to collaborate on the release of the gaming-inspired new cola flavor by creating interactive experiences that facilitate connections and teamwork.
The games sound cool, but we mostly can’t wait to find out what a pixel tastes like.