Skip to content

Coca-Cola Just Launched Its 'Boldest' Soda Flavor Yet

The new release is the first permanent addition to Coke's lineup in three years.
FACT CHECKED BY Justine Goodman

Coca-Cola has introduced dozens of new soda flavors over the years, including some pretty far-out creations. Recent releases have included soft drinks inspired by dreams, outer space, and a popular video game. Another was partly designed by artificial intelligence. While certainly creative, many of these are limited-time offerings that probably do more to generate buzz than quench thirst.

Coke's newest product, however, seems a little more down-to-earth, and the company even describes it as a "permanent" addition to its lineup—the brand's first such soda with staying power in more than three years.

It's called Coca-Cola Spiced, and while it sounds like a soft drink infused with fiery chili peppers, the beverage itself is actually a fairly subtle new spin on the classic cola. Even so, company execs are touting it as "Coke's boldest tasting brand innovation yet."

 25 Best & Worst Sodas on Grocery Shelves, According to Dietitians

The soda giant unveiled its new flavor on Tuesday night at an exclusive tasting event in New York City, where guests, including myself, sampled both regular and sugarless varieties of the debut soft drink.

"It's a very complex flavor profile," said Sue Lynne Cha, vice president of marketing, Coca-Cola Trademark-North America, during a presentation on the new beverage and other initiatives. "It really starts with a refreshing version of raspberry, which is combined with our iconic alma mater formula and then it really ends with a warm spice." Cha called it "Coca-Cola with a twist," adding, "It's not spicy, but it's the boldest innovation that we've done."


Coca-Cola Spiced
Courtesy of Coca-Cola

Cha would not say what actual spices are used in the recipe—the listed ingredients mention only "natural flavors"—but she explained that the developers "worked on really figuring out the right level of spices so that it's delicious, refreshing."

Unlike, say, Cherry Coke, which is unabashedly fruit-forward, the raspberry flavor in Coke Spiced is much more understated. "We wanted to make sure we kept it really balanced," Cha said. "We didn't want it to be overpowering."

The company was inspired to create a spiced cola after seeing "a significant increase in consumers willing to try spices in beverage," she said. "Then we layered on the fruit," choosing raspberry as the better complement, she added.

Coca-Cola Spiced and Coca-Cola Spiced Zero Sugar arrive in U.S. stores on Feb. 19.

 9 Once-Popular Sodas You Wouldn't Touch Today

The spiced varieties aren't the only forthcoming new innovations from Coke. The company also previewed two other new soft drinks during Tuesday's event, including a limited-edition peachy-flavored sugarless cola called Happy Tears, which will be available exclusively via TikTok, beginning on Feb. 17. Coke also poured samples of a yet-unnamed cola with hints of banana flavor, which executives hinted was "inspired by a place in the world that's driving cultural conversation on music, fashion, and food." A teaser photo showed Korean script on the packaging.

Consumers can expect many more new soda varieties to come. Since opening its Coca-Cola Creations division two years ago, the company has been churning out new drinks faster than ever before, putting out a total of eight new products in that time. In the past, it took about a year to develop a new beverage, executives said. Coca-Cola Spiced took only seven weeks.

Chris Shott
Chris Shott is the Deputy Editor covering restaurants and groceries for Eat This, Not That! Read more about Chris
Filed Under