Every so often, a company will deem it time for a twist on their most popular drinks. Whether it’s a promotional tie-in or a desire to get a new flavor into the market without the hassle of developing a whole new product, these can be a great way to try new things — and more importantly, to make a profit and learn what new products might appeal to customers.
A promotional soda, despite its name or taste, can often be looked fondly on as something interesting, if not delicious (Many people from the 80s and 90s will fondly tell you about Crystal Pepsi and Hi-C Ecto Cooler). Some brands, like Mountain Dew, even bring tremendous profits by offering a variety of flavors that deviate from their original formula (it’s now possible to ‘Do the Dew’ in over 20 flavors). But despite the constant outpour of new flavors and brands, one of the world’s largest hasn’t made too many twists on its specialty.
In the past, Coca-Cola has introduced new variants with varying levels of success, ranging from the good (cherry, vanilla, and Freestyle mixes), to the bad (New Coke), but hasn’t delved into mixing unique flavors as much…. until recently.
Mystery flavors from Coke are a new thing, but they’ve already made up for lost time quickly — they’ve previously released multiple special edition drinks, including Coca-Cola Byte and Coca-Cola Starlight, that have also kept their flavors hidden and (mostly) up to public interpretation. While the previous two mystery flavors claimed to taste like Bytes and Space respectively, this newest curious creation is said to be Dream-flavored. But this begs the question… what exactly do dreams taste like?
In order to decipher the mystery flavor, I brought together some of KX’s finest investigative minds for this pressing matter. Here’s a collection of the responses and opinions of our news team in regards to the new flavor.
Nighttime in the Newsroom
As the front line of the KX news team, the Bismarck newsroom was the first group to sample the dreamy drink. We figured that with more people in the room, it would have been easier to determine the general consensus on the drink’s flavor. But what we ended up with was a strange mixture of answers (and refusals) that made our attempts to guess even more difficult than expected.
Joe Rinaldi, News Director: “It’s almost like a mix between a Capri-Sun and a Diet Coke. It’s a drink from the 90s that never existed.”
Seth Halsted, News Photographer: “It smells fruity, a little too much so. Tasted like tropical fruit, probably something along the lines of mango. It was pretty similar to that Tropical Twist gum Trident makes.”
Cameron Brewer, Multimedia Reporter: “It definitely tasted tropical. Like a candy that I hadn’t eaten in a long time.”
Joel, : “I’m not too good with artificial flavors, but to me, it tasted kind of like bubblegum. After hearing that most people thought it had a tropical edge, though, I can absolutely see that, too.
Stephanie Malloy, Assistant News Director: It smelled almost like lemon at first. To me, it tastes like RC Cola, if you’ve ever had that.
Mary G., Producer Intern: It was an interesting taste, definitely sweet. Bubblegum mostly, but there’s a hint of fruit in there too, either peach or mango.
Of course, not everyone was too thrilled with the KX taste test. A few members of the team declined to taste the new flavor, and some who did had less-than-constructive criticism regarding the taste.
Brooke Williams, Evening Anchor: “It tasted kind of like cough syrup. Whatever flavor it was, I don’t want it.”
Christina Randall, Multimedia Journalist: “I agree with the ‘cough syrup’ thing.”
It wouldn’t be fair to make only the main news team try the drink, though, and the bottle was quickly passed back to the digital team to give their own thoughts.
Keith Darnay, Digital Executive Producer: “It really tastes a lot like vanilla. That’s the big thing that stood out to me.”
Nick Jachim, Digital Video Producer: “I tend not to drink soda too much, especially after I swapped to coffee. I’m definitely getting mango hints in this, but there’s some other stuff going on in there, too. But I mostly got hit by the mango.”
Brendan Rodenberg, Digital Correspondent: “It smelled like a tropical drink, but I don’t know if it was all mango. More like a mixture of passion fruit and mango. It tasted good to me, even if it’s a little bit more sugary than normal Coke.
Although we can’t be 100% sure what the ‘flavor of dreams’ is in its entirety (though we have our suspicions), there’s definitely something telling about the tendency among members of both of our newsrooms to lean towards the tropical side. If the office did have to take a guess, we’d lean towards the mystery ingredient being Mango… but that leaves the question of where the RC and vanilla taste some of our staff reported came from.
Curiously enough, with what we’ve noticed, the side of the newsroom that reports a tropical taste tends to fall into the younger members of the crew — with the two most deviating responses stemming from our older members of staff. Although it’s a stretch, there is scientific evidence that senses of smell and taste change as we age, possibly explaining the flavor difference. Regardless, our report is simple: if you’re a fan of the sweeter taste of the tropics, Dreamworld is definitely worth a sip.
Whenever Coca-Cola, or any other company, comes out with these products, consumers will always be at least a little bit curious to try the ‘mystery flavor’ themselves. Why? I’d chalk it up to morbid curiosity. Whenever there’s something that comes off as intriguing, mysterious, or so bizarre it’s worth staring at, people will rush to it. I should know — I just got an entire newsroom to take part in this little experiment with that same human urge.
KX’s own morning show, Studio 701, will also be featuring the new Coca-Cola flavor on their Review It segments in the coming days. Be sure to stay tuned!