Coca-Cola Unveils AI-Crafted Future Flavour Y3000: A Glimpse into 977 Years Ahead

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Coca-Cola, the beverage behemoth, has dedicated the last eighteen months to conjuring limited-edition drinks that boast enigmatic flavours – most of which span to abstract, futuristic concepts. The most recent unveiling is that of Coca-Cola Y3000, a peculiar concoction that promises to offer a taste of the future. The renowned soft-drink giant utilised escalating artificial intelligence technologies to achieve this unique flavour profile and intriguing packaging design.

Coca-Cola’s classic brew, with its rich history of over a century, is fundamental for retaining customer interest, chiefly among its younger demographic. However, a growing trend of health-focused consumers avoiding sugar-saturated beverages means legacy beverage providers like Coca-Cola need to dig deep into their marketing playbook to rejuvenate their primary brands’ allure. The company’s Creations platform, the origin of these limited-edition concoctions, has been a key strategy to remain appealing to the younger crowd.

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All beverages emerging from the Creations platform are crafted to principally taste like the conventional Coke product, with an additional unique twang. To bring this concept to life, Coca-Cola has leveraged artificial intelligence. Beyond flavour, the tech was also instrumental in materialising the final packaging design.

Coca-Cola banked on commonplace human intuition to uncover which flavours people correlated with the future. Subsequently, they employed AI to decipher potential flavour combinations and profiles. Y3000’s futuristic packaging, boasting Y2K vibes with lively bubbles, a blend of pink and blue shades, and a pixelated design, pays tribute to the AI influence, unequivocally crediting it as a co-creator.

Y3000 will be available in both zero and full sugar variants in the US and Canada, retailing at the equivalent price of a regular Coke for a limited duration from Tuesday.

Complementing the beverage experience, Y3000 imbibes online experiences with real events or merchandise. Via a QR code printed on the packaging, customers can access the Creations site for an interactive glimpse of what the ensuing 977 years could potentially look like.

Luxury streetwear label, Ambush, has partnered with Coca-Cola to unveil a limited-edition capsule collection correlated with the Y3000 launch, due for release this fall. This is not their first fashion collaboration, as Coca-Cola had previously teamed up with Highsnobiety for a product line.

Coca-Cola’s Creations platform has led to the creation of arresting limited-edition flavours, such as Coca-Cola Ultimate, a variation designed for gamers and formulated in tandem with Riot Games. Preceding Ultimate were Starlight, Dreamworld, and Byte, inspired by space, dreams, and pixels respectively. The company also produced musician-inspired remixes with artists Rosalia and Marshmello.

With the exception of the Marshmello beverage, deriving its flavour from strawberry and watermelon, Coca-Cola has kept most flavour profiles under wraps. Oana Vlad, Coca-Cola’s Senior Director of Global Strategy, maintains that an overt explanation of flavours will continue to be elusive. Primarily, the flavour composition is majorly Coke-centric, with a slight twist of an unexpected element.

James Quincey, CEO of Coca-Cola, assured in last year’s Redburn CEO conference that these novel flavours aren’t anticipated to be a part of their permanent roster. Instead, they are experimental endeavours designed to engage consumers and test the product boundaries.