In June 2005, Coca-Cola launched Raspberry Coke in New Zealand on a trial basis, along with Diet Coke Raspberry. The flavor didn't sit so well with Kiwis, however, so it was discontinued by the end of 2005. As of May 2008, there were no Coca-Cola Raspberry supplies left on the market, even though in the U.S., prices for the bottles were about $10. As YouTube reviews began popping up and it developed a small cult following, it seems that Coca-Cola took notice.
As reported by the New Zealand Herald, Coca-Cola is rereleasing its Coke Raspberry flavor. With about 25 percent less sugar than regular ol' Coke, the new reboot is meant to replicate the desire for natural flavors and less artificial sweeteners. This new reboot was tweaked and developed for New Zealanders after Coca-Cola Oceania realized that it was in line with what the country was craving for their summer.
As Karen Thompson, head of communications for Coca-Cola Oceania, stated:
"When we launched Coca-Cola No Sugar a few months ago, when we were teasing the campaign that we had a new product coming, a lot of the response was saying 'Oh are you launching Coke Raspberry', so we realized it was something that Kiwis had an affinity with."
While this is one wacky flavor that we'd love to try stateside, not every Coca-Cola Oceania release makes it to the ol' U.S.A. In fact, Coca-Cola released Coke with a twist of ginger in New Zealand last summer, and we just learned about Coca-Cola Japan's Georgia Coffee.
Is it that Americans simply don't take well to Coca-Cola's attempt at new flavors, evidenced by the backlash in the late 1980s and early 1990s when Coke attempted to debut New Coke. It was the launch of Coca-Cola Classic that brought the brand back on top, but you can read more about that here.
Although if you head to a Five Guys or any establishment with a Coke Freestyle soft drink machine, you can almost replicate the taste by adding raspberry syrup at the soda fountain. Want Orange Coke, or Orange Diet Coke? You got it! Vanilla Coke Zero, Lemon Coke, Lime Coke, Cherry Vanilla Coke, the list is endless. The Coke Freestyle seems to be our only way to experiment with flavors in cola drinks and the like, from club soda to Powerade to Fanta. Ever had Fanta Strawberry? Enough said.
For now, we'll just be imagining how delicious Coke Raspberry must taste spiked with rum here in the United States. Just think about it, and enjoy the health benefits, too.