The Long Standing Controversy Over Coca-Cola’s Weird Flavors Continues

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Coca-Cola has taken on the world and entranced everyone with their pop since 1886. Many flavors and versions have been created from cherry and vanilla to new twists like diet mango and orange vanilla, but there is a long-standing debate about whether or not these new flavors are worth all the hype.  

This flavor phenomena began with Cherry Coke. It was released in 1982 at the World’s Fair, although it was not added to mainstream stores until 1985. The Coca-Cola brand marketed it during the summer as “slightly wild and fun.” And while Coca-Cola may be the company behind flavored soda, the actual idea to add flavor to Coke came from soda jerk shops, where workers would simply add a shot of cherry flavoring to regular Coke.

Ted Ryan, a historian for Coca-Cola, recalls that “[He] grew up in Atlanta in the ‘70s and would walk to Spring Lake Pharmacy just about every day after school. It was an old-fashioned pharmacy with a soda fountain counter, and [he]’d always get a Coke [with cherry flavoring]. So when Coca-Cola launched Cherry Coke in 1985, [he] was ecstatic. Drinking a Cherry Coke brings back very specific memories of sitting at that counter with [his] brother.”

Today, the most common flavors that can be found in most stores are the original Coke, orange vanilla, cherry, and vanilla. Orange vanilla is the newest flavor, released this past February. This new combination is aimed at millenials, according to Fox8 Cleveland.

Kate Carpenter, the brand director for Coca-Cola, talked about this flavor saying that “[Coca-Cola] wanted to bring back positive memories of carefree summer days; [it] is a reminiscent of the creamy orange popsicles we grew up loving, but in a classically Coke way.”

According to Knoxville News, the Coca-Cola company hasn’t released a new Coke flavor since 2007. While for some people the wait has been highly anticipated, others are concerned about the taste of these new flavors.

Katrina Tadros, ‘22, says that “[she’s] always been more into originals than the new stuff.” Despite this, she also added that she enjoys the Vanilla Coke.

It is clear the conversation over unusual flavors is highly controversial. In fact, writers at Business Insider did a taste test on the Diet Coke flavors, with the overall opinions being mixed, showing yet again how debatable these new flavors have become.

Kate Taylor, a writer for Business Insider, says that “[she] thought [the cherry Coke] was kind of classic.”

Reuben Ingber, another writer, really did not enjoy any of the unusual drinks, stating that “the flavors just don’t get me going.”

Minnetonka students have also gotten involved in the debate over Coke flavors.

A Coke enthusiast, Wes Quist, ‘22, loves all different flavors, particularly cherry-vanilla. He was accidentally served Cherry-Vanilla Coke at a restaurant once and now he can’t get enough.

He also says that, “[he hasn’t] tried orange vanilla yet, but [he is] planning on it because it sounds like an orange dreamsicle!”

The debate surrounding bizarre Coca-Cola flavors is never ending, but whether or not these flavors are liked or not, it is always interesting to see what Coca-Cola has in store. Rumor has it that Coca-Cola is considering releasing new flavors soon, including peach and raspberry, according No matter your personal opinion in this discussion, Coca-Cola is a cold refreshing drink, whatever flavor it happens to be.