WTF?! On Monday, the Coca-Cola company introduced a new limited-edition soda flavor "born in the metaverse." The soft drink is called Byte, and according to the maker, it tastes like "pixels." However, according to The Verge, who got to try a sample, it tastes terrible.
The color of the drink is the same as regular Coke. It has comparable fizz and is sugar-free. Coca-Cola Byte comes in a nice-looking purplish can with pixelated lettering, but that's the only nice thing about it.
The taste is what really sets it back. The Verge's Mitchell Clark says the taste is hard to describe using "the food words that [he] knows." It has a sickly-sweet taste that is "vaguely fruity," but has that aftertaste you get with artificial sweeteners. Clark's wife said it made her mouth go numb.
The soda has an almost natural fruity scent, but not in a good way. Clark compared the drink's aroma to Axe Anarchy body spray with a lingering medicinal waft like cough syrup.
Clark's wife kept saying the taste reminded her of something she could not quite place. Much later, Clark asked her if it tasted like Monster or Red Bull, noting that he was just guessing since he's never tried energy drinks.
"I think it's Red Bull, OMG!" she replied in a text. "That's why it smells like medicine. It's Red Bull mixed with Coke."
Clark remarked that were he asked to come up with the flavor of pixels, he would have shot for a taste closer to "the staticky, faintly metallic experience of licking a CRT monitor." But the Red Bull/Coke comparison does make more sense with Coca-Cola's marketing.
"The drink's bright, upfront taste is reminiscent of powering up a game, and its refreshing finish makes for a perfect gaming companion," reads the press release.
Clearly, the company is targeting the energy-drink-loving gamer.
Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte, as it is officially branded, already hit retailers in several Latin American countries on April 4. The product will be available to the brave in the US on May 2. However, it can only be ordered in twin packs (12.5-oz each) from Coca-Cola's website. China will have a retail launch on May 23.