Japan

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.

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