We Tried the New Coke Flavor, Coca-Cola Spiced

It’s not every day that a new Coke flavor drops. Scratch that. It is practically every day that new Coke flavors drop (it seems like we’ve tried dozens of Coca-Cola Creations releases in the past year or so), but what is rare is that a new flavor of Coke joins Coca-Cola’s permanent lineup. Like, if you really loved the Coke that tasted like “transformation” or the one that was concocted by AI, sorry, but those are limited edition. Presumably, Coca-Cola is very choosy about the flavors that join the ranks of Diet Coke, Coke Zero, and Cherry Coke. And that’s part of what’s so interesting about the newest permanent flavors of Coca-Cola, arriving on shelves as we speak: Coca-Cola Spiced and Coca-Cola Spiced Zero Sugar. 

Coca-Cola with some added spice sounds pretty cool, but there’s more to this flavor. The can describes it as “raspberry spiced,” which I think is confusing. Is it Coke that’s simply been spiced up with raspberry flavor? No. It’s a combo of unnamed spices and raspberry flavoring. According to the brand’s North American VP of marketing, there’s a method to this flavor madness. Sue Lynne Cha told CNN that the new Coke flavor was borne of research indicating that there’s been an “increase in consumer willingness to try a spiced beverage,” as well as data that says a lot of people choose raspberry flavoring when they use Coke Freestyle machines—who knew they were monitoring us?! So, there you have it. Good ol’ fashioned market research and data gave us Spiced Coke. Is it good? Naturally, we tasted it to find out.

coca-cola spiced review

New Product!

Coca-Cola Spiced

I read on the internet that there used to be a straight-up Raspberry Coke that was launched in New Zealand in 2005 and discontinued shortly thereafter. And listen, I don’t purport to know more about people’s soda proclivities than Sue Lynne Cha, but after trying this new Coke flavor, I can’t help but think they should have just released a plain Raspberry Coke here in the U.S., hold the spice. Coca-Cola Spiced smells like Sun-Ripened Raspberry from Bath & Body Works and definitely gives raspberry up front, but it settles into something much stranger. As the raspberry settles on your palate, the “spice” flavor hits you in the nose. It’s very medicinal, especially when the soda is super cold. My colleague Justine Sterling likened it to the taste of a Ricola cough drop, and she’s totally right (Chloraseptic was my first stab at identifying it). Weirdly, this new Coke flavor becomes a lot more palatable as the can sits. I took a few more sips once it was closer to room temp and it tasted much better. But I’m sure you agree that soda should taste good ice cold.




coca-cola spiced zero sugar review

New Product!

Coca-Cola Spiced Zero Sugar

This probably won’t be a huge surprise, but zero sugar Spiced Coke tastes like the sugar-full version, but slightly sweeter because of the aspartame. The experience of drinking it is the same. You get raspberry up front, and then the spice, which is tough to identify. I still can’t put a finger on what spices we’re dealing with here. If I were to revisit Spiced Coke, I’d be more likely to grab the Zero Sugar version, but only because I don’t feel like this flavor is compelling enough to warrant consuming the 41 grams of sugar that are in the full-sugar version. But mostly I think I’ll stick to Raspberry Coke from my AMC Theatres Freestyle machine. 




About the Author

Gwynedd Stuart

Gwynedd Stuart, Sporked’s managing editor, is an L.A.-based writer and editor who spends way, way too much time at the grocery store. She’s never met an Old El Paso taco or mozzarella stick she didn’t like.