Coca-Cola debuts spicy raspberry soda amid boom in amped-up snacks

Coca Cola has unveiled a spicy, fruity twist on its classic soda, as snacks and drinks with amped-up flavors gain traction among consumers. 

The Atlanta-based beverage giant on Wednesday introduced Coca-Cola Spiced, a raspberry-flavored soda with a touch of spice. The fizzy drink’s debut marks Coca-Cola’s first new permanent offering in North America in three years. Coca-Cola Spiced and Coca-Cola Spiced Zero Sugar will go on sale in the U.S. and Canada on February 19.

Coca-Cola Spiced doesn’t have a lot of heat; the main flavor drinkers will notice is that of raspberry. Coke won’t name the spices it added – it guards its recipes closely – but they taste like amped-up versions of the spices in regular Coke.

“If you go to the aisles, you’ll see the amount of spiciness has gone up because consumers’ taste palettes have evolved. We realized that could be an opportunity for us,” Coca-Cola’s North American marketing chief Shakir Moin told The Associated Press in a recent interview. “Can we dial up something which is already part of our formula and bring in a taste profile that is interesting, unique and brings in the next generation of consumers?”

The new beverage launch comes as heat-packed snacks and drinks are increasingly popular among consumers worldwide. According to food production firm Kalsec, 95% of global consumers enjoy foods that are mildly spicy or above. 

Booming interest in spiced foods and drinks has driven several major snack brands to debut products with punched-up flavors. Last year, Frito-Lay rolled out a tangy, chili-flavored cheetos, expanding its famous Flamin’ Hot brand, according to Food & Wine. And in 2021, Mountain Dew launched Flamin’ Hot Mountain Dew, a spicy, citrus-flavored soda. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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