Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte is the beverage company’s latest limited-edition flavor, and while it won’t be available in the U.S. until next month, details about the new drink suggest that it is as weird as the recently released Coca-Cola Starlight.
What is Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte?
Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte is the second beverage — after Coca-Cola Starlight — from Coca-Cola Creations, the company’s new innovation division. But it is the first-ever Coke flavor born in the metaverse, as it existed online before it did in real life.
Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte made its debut appearance in late March in Pixel Point, an island in the video game Fortnite, which was created by Coca-Cola and its gaming organization partner PWR. Players who arrive at Pixel Point will discover Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte in the metaverse and interact with fellow gamers through a series of four sensory-inspired, multiplayer mini-games called The Castle, The Escape, The Race, and The Tower. One of these mini-games takes place inside a classic glass Coke bottle.
What does Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte taste like?
Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte is supposed to taste like pixels. In the press release announcing the new flavor, Oana Vlad, senior director of strategy at Coca-Cola, said the new drink has “an innovative taste inspired by the playfulness of pixels, rooted in the experiences that gaming makes possible.”
The press release added that Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte has a bright, upfront taste that is reminiscent of powering up a game. The flavor also features a refreshing finish that makes for a perfect gaming companion.
If you feel like the flavor description is vague, Vlad told CNN in an email that it’s intentional. “Our fans are intrigued — they love the playful novelty,” she explained. “The abstract nature of the flavor descriptions offers an opportunity for debate and discussion.”
When will Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte hit U.S. store shelves?
Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte launched in extremely limited quantities in select countries in Latin America on April 4th. In the U.S., starting May 2nd, the new flavor will be exclusively available to purchase in twin packs of 12.5-oz. slim cans at www.coca-cola.com/creations, which costs about $15 plus shipping. China will follow with a retail launch on May 23rd.
Once customers get their hands on a can of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte in the real world, they’ll be able to play an augmented reality (AR) game by scanning the drink’s pixelated label with their phones. The AR game tells the story of BYTE, an 8-bit pixel left behind when Coca-Cola Byte entered the metaverse. Using fingers to hold down arrows, players can guide BYTE to “jump” up a spiral staircase so the lone pixel can rejoin the Coca-Cola logo. Players’ finish times will be posted to a virtual leaderboard that can be shared on social media.