New YorkCNN —
Coca-Cola is introducing a new limited-edition flavour for gamers, a market segment that big-name food and beverage companies are increasingly targeting.
Coke teamed up with Riot Games, the company that develops the multiplayer online battle arena game League of Legends, for this new flavour, Coca-Cola Ultimate. Beginning on June 12, Ultimate will be temporarily offered in US and Canadian retailers in both normal and zero sugar flavours. This week’s rollout is only available in zero sugar globally.
A few years ago, Coca-Cola (KO) reduced its portfolio to concentrate on its key brands, notably Coke. However, the market for full-sugar soda has been dormant for years; Coca-Cola (KO) must work hard to attract new customers.
With a focus on music and online games, the series of abstract flavours, each matched with a digital experience, aims to excite younger consumers about Coke.
In particular, gamers are meant to be drawn to Ultimate. Like the majority of Coke’s previous limited-edition drinks, the specific flavour will be kept a secret.
Other bizarre tastes from Coca-Cola’s Creations platform, which first began to be released approximately a year and a half ago, include Starlight, which was inspired by space, Dreamworld, which is said to taste like dreams, and Byte, which is purported to have a pixel flavour. Additionally, Coca-Cola collaborated on special flavours with the bands Marshmello and Rosala.
Coca-Cola won’t say what Ultimate truly tastes like, just like in the majority of those situations (Marshmello’s flavour featured undertones of strawberry and watermelon).
Oana Vlad, senior director of global strategy at Coca-Cola, stated, “We’re never really going to answer that question” in a “straightforward” manner. “They’re mystery flavours,” she said. However, they must always taste like Coke. “We always claim that 85 to 90% of the flavour profile is Coke. Then there is that 10 to 15 percent unforeseen twist.
According to a corporate statement advertising the beverage, Ultimate is meant to give drinkers the flavour of “experience points,” which League of Legends players acquire according on how much time they spend playing the game.
CEO James Quincey stated this at the Redburn CEO conference in November that the flavours are not intended to be offered perpetually. They are intended to promote the company’s main product instead.
He remarked, “They’re more intriguing and engaging, clearly, than a flavour, like a Coke with vanilla or anything. “Testing the boundaries is about engaging with consumers,” the speaker said.
It appears that Coca-Cola’s marketing strategy is effective. According to the firm, trademark Coca-Cola saw growth in the first quarter across all geographical areas, in part because to demand from the highly sought-after Gen Z market.
If I were to choose the US as an example, he said, “we can see that the growth in the Coke franchise is not only being driven by increased recruitment, but also by increased engagement and recruitment of Gen Z.”
The flavours are another method of reaching individuals online, in games, and in other places.
Virtual experiences have been coupled with the limited-time offers. A QR code on Starlight’s can allowed users access to a holographic Ava Max concert. Drinkers at Dreamworld might purchase virtual goods for their internet avatars.
The core of Creations, according to Vlad, is the digital element.
Coca-Cola is embracing music and games with the platform since these industries have historically been fruitful for beverage corporations.
Red Bull has been involved in the realm of esports for a while, while PepsiCo (PEP) has created a beverage called Mountain Dew Game Fuel exclusively for gamers. In recent times, popular food producers have also placed bets on gaming.
More significant than the limited-edition flavour is the partnership between Riot and Coca-Cola. In March of last year, the two businesses, who had previously collaborated from 2014 to 2016, announced a multi-year relationship.
Coca-Cola now has additional options for reaching gamers through marketing because to Creations.
The “pixel-flavored” cola byte made its debut in Fortnite. On the Twitch channel of the gamer Loserfruit, Marshmello’s flavour was broadcast.
Naturally, Ultimate has connections to League of Legends. When they complete specific in-game objectives, players may get Ultimate-themed emotes, which are similar to in-game Bitmoji. The bottle’s QR code links to the Ultimate Instagram filter.
According to Eric Krause, global head of marketing for League of Legends Games at Riot Games, Ultimate is “the jewel in the crown of our on-going and evolving partnership.”
Why did Coke change its Flavour?
Coca-Cola has been losing market share to non-cola beverages and diet soft drinks by 1985. Blind taste testing revealed that customers preferred Pepsi-Cola’s sweeter flavour, which is why the Coca-Cola formulation was changed.
What is Cola flavor made from?
Citrus oils (derived from the peels of orange, lime, and lemon), cinnamon, vanilla, and an acidic flavouring are the main flavourings used in contemporary cola drinks. To give each brand’s cola drink a unique flavour, manufacturers add trace amounts of flavourings.