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I just tried Coca-Cola's new pixel-flavored drink — here's what it tastes like

Coca Cola Byte pixel flavored soda
(Image credit: Future)

Does Coca-Cola Byte actually taste like pixels? I suppose that depends on what you think pixels taste like. To me, pixels sound crunchy and sweet – kind of like Nerds candy, but you know, uniformly pixel-shaped instead of irregularly pebbled.

That is not how I would describe Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte’s flavor, which I sampled ahead of the official roll out on May 2.

Coca-Cola Byte is the latest limited-edition soda from the company’s Creations labs; you might remember Starlight, the “space”-flavored concoction from earlier this year. Like Starlight, Byte is an imaginative initiative designed to stir curiosity and conversation more than launch the world’s next best soft drink. 

And it pretty much succeeds. Though I’m not sure it’ll become the gamer’s ultimate source of caffeination, the can’s Metaverse-worthy design and the flavor’s sense of mystery make Byte a compelling product.

What does Coca-Cola Byte taste like?

When Coca-Cola Byte was first announced, I did what any Gen Z journalist would do and asked TikTok users to guess what pixels taste like. More than a few of Tom’s Guide’s TikTok commenters suggested La Croix carbonated water, and I’d say they’re right.

Coca-Cola Byte tastes like mixed berry seltzer, which is off-putting given the drink’s signature Coca-Cola color. It felt more bubbly than a regular Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, too.

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I obviously didn’t want to come to conclusions alone, so I poured some colleagues their own shot of pixels – err, soda – to try. Besides picking their brains about the flavor, I asked whether they tried Starlight yet and if so, whether they liked the taste.

This extremely scientific experiment offered a fascinating conclusion. Those who disliked the cotton candy-flavored Starlight enjoyed Byte, and those who didn’t like Byte are fans of Starlight. 

I’m Team Starlight, so yeah, Byte isn’t my favorite beverage out there. It’s not the last thing I’d pick up at a convenience store. In fact, it’s something I could see myself leaving in my fridge for friends to try. 

That is, if I can procure a case. Unlike Starlight, which made its way to stores (and is now a regular addition to my Instacart orders,) Coca-Cola Byte can only be purchased on Coke’s website. Limited quantities will be available, so set an alarm on May 2 if you’re hoping to taste pixels for yourself.

Whether or not you try Byte, you can play an adventure-style augmented reality game and compete on a virtual leaderboard via the Coca-Cola Creations hub. 

Kate Kozuch is a senior writer at Tom’s Guide covering wearables, TVs and everything smart-home related. When she’s not in cyborg mode, you can find her on an exercise bike or channeling her inner celebrity chef. She and her robot army will rule the world one day, but until then, reach her at kate.kozuch@futurenet.com.