Drinking Coca-Cola Peach for the first time

A lot of major global brands release products that are only available in Japan.  Whether it’s a Full Moon burger from McDonald’s or a roasted sesame Frappucino from Starbucks, there is a variety of food products that are only available in Japan.  A few weeks ago Coca-Cola released Coca-Cola Peach, which actually debuted last year.  However, Coca-Cola Peach is a seasonal product, so it did not return to shelves until recently.

I have tried a lot of products that are only available in Japan, but I wasn’t sure about trying Coca-Cola Peach until I conducted a poll on Instagram (follow me there).  The overwhelming response from followers was to try the beverage and post a review.

My first sip of Coca-Cola Peach

Details behind the beverage

So why peaches? What is it about Japanese taste buds that lead Coca-Cola to produce a peach-flavored beverage?

On March 3 each year, Japan celebrates Hinamatsuri, which is also known as Doll’s Day or Girls’ Day.  The festival was historically known as the Peach Festival (Momo no Seku) because peach trees typically began to flower around this time.  According to the company, demand for peach-flavored products is highest from January to March.  So it appears that Coca-Cola is trying to capitalize upon tastes and cultural significance to sell this product.

What’s in the beverage?

According to Coca-Cola Japan’s website, the beverage includes: fructose corn sugar, peach fruit juice/carbonic acid, caramel color, acidulant, fragrance, sweetener (stevia, acesulfame K), and caffeine.  By comparison, “regular” Coca-Cola has the same ingredients as Coca-Cola Peach except for the sweetener and peach juice.  Coca-Cola Japan includes “peaches” under allergy specific ingredients, which means there is enough peach juice in the drink to cause an allergic reaction.

The drink has 31 calories per 100 mL, so a 500 mL (approximately 16 oz.) bottle has 155 calories.  Comparatively, there are 45 calories per 100 mL in Coca-Cola, which is 225 calories for a 500 mL bottle.

Cost and availability

Over the past few weeks I have seen Coca-Cola Peach at several convenience stores and grocery stores.  However, the price difference between convenience stores and grocery stores is noticeable.  Convenience stores have the 500 mL (approximately 16 oz.) bottle priced at ¥140 (about USD $1.30/£1/€1.15) while grocery stores have the same product for about ¥85 (about USD $0.80/£0.60/€0.70).  The product is also available in 280 mL (approximately 9.5 oz.) bottles, but I have not seen those at anywhere.

Final thoughts and rating

Before recapping my thoughts on the soft drink, I have to admit that I am not a fan of peaches or peach-flavored products.  However, I feel like I can be honest about the positives and negatives of the drink.

Coca-Cola Peach is a dark-colored cola, so it looks the same as “regular” Coca-Cola.  However, the drink has a VERY noticeable peach aroma.  The peach flavors are not overpowering, but hit the taste buds as soon as you take a sip.  There is an underlying tartness to the beverage that turned me off.  However, if you like peaches and want a caramel-colored, peach-flavored soft drink this one hits the mark.

Revealing my 2019 ballpark resolutions

The new year leads many people to make resolutions to better themselves by losing weight or spending less or quitting bad habits or a host of other goals.  I believe in resolutions, but prefer to focus on travel goals at the beginning of the new year.  Since 2014, I’ve posted my ballpark travel resolutions on Twitter at the start of the year.  So here are my New Year’s ballpark resolutions for 2019…

Resolution #1:

My wife Katie will be completing coursework for an additional certification related to her job in Portland this summer.  So we are both hoping to make a few day trips to see the state’s three teams, which all play within a two-hour drive from Portland, before returning to Japan.

During my last visit to Oregon in 2008, I attended a Portland Beavers game at PGE Park.  However, that visit was before I start blogging about my ballpark visits so I never wrote about that trip.  Additionally, the Beavers franchise relocated after the 2010 season, which ultimately cleared the path for the Hillsboro Hops to come into existence in 2013.  I am especially excited about this resolution because it will be Katie’s first visit to Oregon, so I am sure we will explore some of the state’s great breweries and other sights.

Resolution #2:

As my regular readers know, I have participated in the Advanced Placement (AP) Human Geography Reading for the past several years in Cincinnati, Ohio, during the first week of June.  On several occasions, I drove to Cincinnati and visited some ballparks on my way back to Georgia or Alabama.  I am still awaiting an invitation to the event, but am optimistic that I will get to Cincinnati.

As I have recently visited the nearby ballparks heading south to Atlanta, my goal is to make a circuit of the top Minor League ballparks near Cincinnati.  I’ve never been to a Columbus Clippers nor an Indianapolis Indians game, and their parks are consistently rated among the best in Minor League Baseball.  I’ve twice attended Dayton Dragons games, but have never blogged about my experiences there.

A perk of visiting Indianapolis is that I would be able to add another presidential site to my list (see the full list), as I would get the opportunity to see Benjamin Harrison’s burial site.

Resolution #3:

I have previously visited both of these franchises.  However, a lot has changed since my visits.  The Augusta GreenJackets relocated from Lake Olmstead Stadium (read about my visit here) to SRP Park in North Augusta, S.C., for the 2018 season.  In advance of the 2018 season, the Gwinnett franchise ditched the Braves moniker, and rebranded as the Gwinnett Stripers.  The team still plays at Coolray Field (read my visit here), but I feel like its worth revisiting consider the makeover of the team since my visit.

Resolution #4:

For many years I’ve wanted to attend a Japanese professional baseball game, and after relocating to Greater Tokyo in August 2018 I was able to accomplish that goal when I attended a Saitama Seibu Lions game (read about my visit here) at the end of September.  I hoped to attend more games before the season ended, but was unable to make it to any other games because of getting settled in our new home.

With us firmly settled and getting better acquainted with the Tokyo transit system, I feel like Katie and I will be able to visit more of the ballparks around Greater Tokyo in 2019.  Three of the five teams are a 90-minute trip from our home while the teams in Yokohama and Chiba are respectively two hours and two and a half hours from our house.  However, one of the great benefits of Japan’s transportation network is that you truly can get anywhere taking trains, subways, or buses.  So I am pretty optimistic that we can add four new ballparks to my tally this year.

Recapping my resolutions

I feel like my 2019 ballpark travel resolutions are relatively attainable.  With some planning it is feasible to visit each of the five Tokyo-area ballparks by visiting one every other weekend.  Visiting the ballparks in Georgia and the Midwest may be trickier to accomplish based upon whether I get an invitation to the AP Human Geography Reading.  I’m hoping for the best, but it is a situation I do not control.  However, I am fairly certain that I will find my way to Oregon this summer, so seeing all three teams in the state seems fairly attainable.

With my resolutions set for the new year, now I have to work to achieve them all.  I will follow-up on my resolutions at the end of the year.  If you want to follow along throughout the year, be sure to follow me on your favorite social media platform (Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter).

Do you make travel resolutions?  If so, what motivates you?  How do you measure the success of keeping your resolutions?