I tried the Coca-Cola flavour created by AI and if this is the future, I'm happy where I am

We test the Coke flavour AI thinks we'll like in years to come

Coca-Cola Y3000
(Image credit: Rik Henderson / Future)

Coca-Cola has a habit of mucking around with new flavour combinations and, on the whole, it has been fairly successful. We love a dash of cherry vanilla in our Coke and often seek out new tastes.

However, on a recent trip to New York City I found out that flavours are best left to experts and mixologists, as the latest to be released as part of the company's Creations collection is pretty foul.

The limited edition Coca-Cola Y3000 is available in full fat and Zero Sugar variants and while I only managed to taste the 240 calorie version, I had no compulsion to seek out the other.

I was intrigued to begin with as Y3000 has the unique distinction of being created using artificial intelligence. The brand surveyed customers on "key flavour preferences and trends" and then used its own AI algorithms to come up with a new recipe that we could all be drinking "in the future".

Coca-Cola Y3000 tested by Rik Henderson

(Image credit: Rik Henderson / Future)

I presume that the extreme heats brought on by global warming will have burned away our taste buds by then, as it's fairly unpalatable now.

Much of our taste comes from our sense of smell anyway, and as soon as you open a bottle you are hit by a strange, largely unpleasant waft. Think vanilla, indeterminable berries and tequila, crossed with a small wrap of butter that may have been sitting in the sun a little too long.

That's roughly the flavour too. There's barely a hint of Cola in it.

Having already turned to decaffeinated Coke in recent times, for reasons too lengthy to get into now, this is quite a statement. Anyone who's tried Coca-Cola without sugar and caffeine will know that it's essentially brown water, but it at least has an essence of the original Coke taste. Y3000, sadly, has not.

There's also an odd aftertaste I can't quite shake.

Still, AI doesn't get everything wrong. We like the design of the label, which was created using generative AI.

That's more than likely where the soft drinks company will continue to use artificial intelligence in the future. As long as it keeps it out of the flavour labs, that's alright by me.

Rik Henderson
News Editor

Rik is T3’s news editor, which means he looks after the news team and the up-to-the-minute coverage of all the hottest gadgets and products you’ll definitely want to read about. And, with more than 35 years of experience in tech and entertainment journalism, including editing and writing for numerous websites, magazines, and newspapers, he’s always got an eye on the next big thing.

Rik also has extensive knowledge of AV, TV streaming and smart home kit, plus just about everything to do with games since the late 80s. Prior to T3, he spent 13 years at Pocket-lint heading up its news team, and was a TV producer and presenter on such shows as Channel 4's GamesMaster, plus Sky's Games World, Game Over, and Virtual World of Sport.