Coca-Cola’s Latest Limited-Edition Flavor Tastes Like the Future (and Was Co-Created By AI)
by Bill McCool on 09/12/2023 | 2 Minute Read
While there’s no telling how long Coca-Cola’s Creation series will last, you can pretty much mark your calendar every few months for a new outrageous flavor, something that the company will almost assuredly remain silent about—here’s one that tastes like action. Not up your alley? Well, this one tastes like pixels. Too nebulous? Too bad—this one is all about transformation! Here’s one co-created with music producer and DJ Marshmello, and nope, it doesn’t taste like marshmallows. Oh well, we always have dreams.
Now, the limited-edition series with frustratingly vague descriptors, teased by Redditors and insiders for weeks, has just dropped, and it tastes like the future.
As if it weren’t bad enough that AI is siphoning off jobs from creatives, according to CNN (no press release for you, design media chumps), Coca-Cola is now turning to the generative technologies du jour to help them dream up flavors and packaging—or at least “co-create,” as the can says. Dubbed Coca-Cola Y3000, the beverage (available in plain-Jane and zero-suagr) does indeed sport some futuristic regalia, with a hazy mix of purple, pink, and blue alongside a fuzzy wordmark.
According to the same spokesperson, CNN says Coca-Cola asked consumers what flavors they associate with the future. AI was then brought on to develop different flavor pairings and a mood board for some design insight.
Of course, this latest limited-edition drop ultimately says more about the brand and its creative direction for the future. Last June, Coca-Cola appointed Pratik Thakar as global head of generative AI, and the company views these headline-grabbing tools as the nexus between IRL designers and the life of a brand, whether it’s with the company’s Real Magic platform or marketing campaigns similar to that of Y3000 (incidentally, there is also a QR code that allows consumers to play around with what the future will look like in 977 years).
All that said, the hype is very much real for the mystery Creations’ flavors. It’s a hell of a way to drum up some business, and it does make for a compelling way to engage with the public, especially when consumers are increasingly looking for more health-conscious drinks.
The future-flavored Y3000 cola drops today. Get it before it's gone, kids—the future waits for no one.
Images courtesy of Coca-Cola.