In the realm of technological advancements, Coca-Cola decided to venture into the world of artificial intelligence (AI) with Coca Cola Creations’ Y3000, a new soda flavor.
Marketed as a “Futuristic Flavored” soda, promising a taste of a prosperous tomorrow, the reality of this innovative concoction leaves much to be desired.
The underwhelming flavor of Coca Cola Creations’ Y3000
Upon the first sip, one might expect the familiar carbonated sensation of a regular Coke, but instead, Y3000 takes a detour to the back of your mouth, leaving behind an unremarkable sensation on your taste buds. The promised “Futuristic Flavor” is reduced to a fleeting hint of berries and sugar, failing to deliver on its bold claims.
The use of AI in the creation of Y3000 appears more of a marketing gimmick than a genuine culinary innovation. Unlike the curiosity-piquing array of Oreo flavors, Y3000 lacks that compelling “I have to try this” factor. It’s a blend of buzzwords, falling short of being a truly noteworthy beverage.
Even with a fair chance, tasting Y3000 with ice doesn’t salvage the experience. Chilled or not, it remains a bland affair. At $1.99 per bottle, it’s hard not to feel like your money could be better spent elsewhere.
AI’s culinary capabilities
It’s worth noting that AI’s track record with recipe creation is mixed at best. While systems like ChatGPT and Google’s Bard can suggest ingredient combinations based on historical data, they lack the nuanced understanding of a human palate. If Y3000 indeed received AI assistance, it’s clear that Coca-Cola had to make significant adjustments to the recipe. Unfortunately, those modifications didn’t quite hit the mark.
What is even more surprising is that Coca-Cola didn’t stop at the soda itself; they introduced an augmented reality (AR) experience through a QR code on the bottle. This AR feature promises a glimpse into the year 3000 but delivers glossy images that lack the wow factor. While Coca-Cola’s Senior Director of Global Strategy, Oana Vlad, aimed to celebrate the idea of a futuristic Coke, the reality is far from exciting.
Collaborative creation between humans and AI
Now, let’s delve into the concept behind Y3000. Coca-Cola went the extra mile to co-create this limited-edition drink with both human and artificial intelligence. They sought to tap into how fans envision the future, considering emotions, aspirations, colors, flavors, and more. This collaborative effort was intended to produce a taste that would resonate with consumers. However, it seems that the fusion of human creativity and AI ingenuity fell short of its intended mark.
The visual identity
The zero-sugar offering of Coca-Cola Y3000 is set to be available for a limited time in select markets, including the United States, Canada, China, Europe, and Africa. Consumers in the United States and Canada also have the option to choose the original taste version of Coca-Cola Y3000. The visual identity of Y3000, co-created with artificial intelligence, embraces a futuristic and optimistic aesthetic. The design showcases liquid in a morphing, evolving state, communicating a positive outlook for the future. A light-toned color palette featuring violet, magenta, and cyan against a silver base adds to the futuristic feel. The iconic Spencerian Script is reimagined with a connected matrix, symbolizing the human connections of our future planet.
AR and fashion collaborations
To enhance the experience, consumers can scan an on-pack QR code to access the Coca-Cola Creations Hub. Here, they can filter photos through the custom Y3000 AI Cam, allowing them to envision their current reality in a future context. Additionally, Coca-Cola has partnered with the genre-defying fashion brand AMBUSH® to create the Y3000 Capsule Collection. This limited-edition line of apparel and accessories, inspired by the future, promises to be an exciting addition for fashion-forward consumers.
Coca-Cola Creations’ quest for innovation
Coca-Cola Creations, a platform that seeks to infuse new expressions into the iconic Coca-Cola brand through collaboration, creativity, and connection, continues to push boundaries. Each release under this platform is a testament to the “Real Magic” philosophy, offering limited-edition flavors complemented by designs and experiences inspired by music, gaming, sports, and other consumer passion points.
Despite the efforts to bring a taste of the future to consumers, the Y3000 falls short of its promise. While the concept was innovative, the execution left much to be desired. As Coca-Cola looks to the future, it’s clear that some experiments, like Y3000, may need a bit more refining before they can truly capture the imagination of consumers. For now, enthusiasts might want to stick to the classic offerings or explore other exciting innovations in the world of beverages. The future of flavor may still be on the horizon, but Y3000 isn’t quite there yet.
Featured image credit: Coca-Cola