Coca-Cola Is Trying To Win Over Gamers With New Zero Sugar Byte

Ever wanted to reach out and touch a memory? Hug an idea? Listen to a sunset? Smell a farewell? While the answer to any one of these is probably a resounding maybe, there is a not insignificant desire among humans to interpret the incorporeal by way of our senses.

The Coca-Cola Company is taking a swipe at this seemingly-impossible errand and cashing in on the limitless popularity of video games and gaming culture with its newest soft drink, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte. Now available online-only in the U.S. (following a limited retail release in select Latin American countries) according to a press release, the new flavor is an attempt by the soda maker to capture the flavor of pixels. (As a refresher, per Adobe's XD Ideas, a pixel is the smallest element of an image displayed on an electronic screen.) Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte will be sold in stores in China beginning May 23.

Coca-Cola's fact sheet for the new beverage says that flavor was "born in the metaverse" with an aim to "[celebrate] the everyday magic of pixels coming together to facilitate digital connection." Now what a pixel should taste like is really anybody's guess, but the press release describes the taste of Zero Sugar Byte as evocative of the literal and figurative energy of "powering up a game."

Seriously, what does Zero Sugar Byte taste like?

While we might not know what pixels or "powering up a game" actually tastes like, the new soda has been reviewed online. The Verge procured one of the skinny purple cans, but share the flavor failed to inspire affection. Their initial take was that the cola is rather medicinal before a more thoughtful analysis led them to the conclusion that it is likely aiming to take on Red Bull.

Tom's Guide was slightly more forgiving in their taste test. The primary flavor they picked up on was that of mixed berries, which they didn't deride but did feel was incongruous with the soda's caramel coloring. The reviewer also noted how Zero Sugar Byte's fruity flavor differs quite a bit from the space-inspired Coca-Cola Starlight, the other new soda from Coke's Creations lab.

Moving beyond the flavor of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte, the beverage's rollout has been generating its own buzz. The launch followed the gaming theme and took place completely within the metaverse on a Fortnite Island, reports Digiday. The investment of a blue-chip brand such as Coca-Cola in a digital product launch marks a sea-change in how and where marketing and advertising reaches consumers.