How Coca-Cola Used AI to Create Its Latest Beverage

CPG launches limited-time Zero Sugar Y3000 that fuses tech into R&D
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
Coca-Cola Y3000
Coca-Cola used AI and consumer insights to create a futuristic taste and look for its latest limited-time flavor.

Artificial intelligence has officially entered the cola wars. Coca-Cola got some consumer and media buzz this week with the introduction of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Y3000, co-created with AI.

The limited-edition product was developed within the Coca-Cola Creations group using insights from global consumers and data gathered by AI. The hook here is the drink is supposed to taste like the future.

[Read more: “Top Brands Serving Up Innovation in 2023”]

Oana Vlad, senior director, global strategy for The Coca-Cola Co. explained the concept. “We hope that Coca Cola will still be as relevant and refreshing in the year 3000 as it is today, so we challenged ourselves to explore the concept of what a Coke from the future might taste like — and what kind of experiences would a Coke from the future unlock?” Vlad said. “The ‘Real Magic’ brand platform celebrates unexpected connections that make the ordinary extraordinary, so we intentionally brought human intelligence and AI together for an uplifting expression of what Coca Cola believes tomorrow will bring.” 

While the taste is mostly evocative of Coca-Cola with some mystery flavors added, the packaging likewise lives up to the futuristic name and branding. Here, too, AI played a role in the design, with light colors and dot clusters meant to represent future connections between humans.

Given the tech-centric nature of the offering, consumers can get personal with Y3000. Users can scan an on-pack QR code to link to the Coca‑Cola Creations Hub, where they can filter their photos through an AI-powered camera to see what their current reality might look like centuries down the road.

The zero-sugar offering is available in United States and other select markets, including Canada, China, Europe and Africa. The new drink is the latest limited-time product from Coca-Cola Creations, which previously introduced Coca-Cola Move, Coca-Cola Starlight, Coca-Cola Dreamworld and Coca-Cola Soul Blast, among others.

The CPG has delved into mystery flavors in other lines, too. Earlier this month, Coca-Cola unveiled a limited-time Fanta drink, dubbed #WhatTheFanta. The black-colored zero-sugar drink arrives in time for Halloween season and temporarily turns the drinker’s tongue black.

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