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Does Coke’s new seasonal flavor in Japan fizz, or fall flat?

Strawberry Coca-Cola became the soft drink giant’s newest seasonal flavor when it was released on Jan. 20. It’s available only in Japan, and only for a limited time.

THERON GODBOLD/STARS AND STRIPES

By THERON GODBOLD | Stars and Stripes | Published: January 28, 2020

Japan’s food and beverage industry boasts many seasonal, novelty flavors, whether it’s a cherry pie-flavored drink from Starbucks or chocolate fries from McDonalds, and some can be better than others.

The current fad is strawberry Coca-Cola. This seasonal flavor has an unclear end date, but likely won’t be on shelves for long.

This “world’s first,” according to a Coca-Cola Co. press release, is targeted at teens and women in their 20s and 30s or anyone who can’t drink normal Coke.

The company describes the drink as a “match between the deliciousness of Coca-Cola and the popular fruits and strawberries that reach the season in winter.”

As a kid, I mixed sodas — Coke and Sprite, for example, for a citrusy flavor, or Fanta and Coke for a berry taste. When I saw this new Coke in my local convenience store, the aforementioned memories flooded back, so I bought a few for the office. Read on to see what my Stars and Stripes coworkers thought.

 

As a former employee of the Coca-Cola bottling plant in Hamburg, Pa., I know my candy water. This beverage offered a nose of antiseptic strawberry. The first sip, moreover, evinced a hint of artificial flavoring with a Twizzler finish. I was most disappointed in the lack of carbonation. The bottle was re-frigerated two days prior to opening so I expected effervescence. But this sample was flabby, clearly past its prime. If you’re desperate for a thirst-quencher after a five-mile, round-trip run to the South Overrun at Yokota Air Base in mid-July, this is your soda, or “pop,” if you prefer. Otherwise, reach for the electrolyte replenishers.

— Joseph Ditzler, Pacific editor

 

I like sugar and this is pretty sugary. The thing is, I am mainly thinking of what I could mix it with alcohol-wise. But also, if I were to mix it with the Vanilla Float Coke, would it taste like a strawberry Coke milkshake? Also, is this one of those strawberry items flavored with castoreum, aka beaver butt? Still tasty, I guess.

— Chrissy Yates, web editor

 

After seeing the reactions from my co-workers, it was my turn to try this new concoction from Coke. With a twist of the cap and the sound of fizz escaping, I brought the bottle to my lips. The flavor is strong and reminds me of strawberry syrup poured directly into a Coke. Hints of artificial sweeteners coated my tongue. It’s sweet, robust and generally pleasant tasting. With a cost of a little under $1.25, it won’t be my go-to soda, but with the limited run and the hype I will definitely buy one or two more in the near future.

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