How AI Is Helping Beverages Like Coca-Cola Target the Health Conscious

Coca Cola, AI, artificial intelligence, Y3000, retail, commerce

We can all appreciate a good Coca-Cola commercial, right? These commercials are a powerful way to get consumers to remember and purchase the beverage. But what if Coke did one better? 

Instead of commercials, Coca-Cola is looking to artificial intelligence (AI) to reach consumers.  

Coca-Cola has reportedly embarked on an eighteen-month journey of experimentation with exclusive drink offerings, showcasing enigmatic flavors often linked to elusive futuristic concepts and undisclosed taste profiles, according to a CNN report. 

The latest introduction, Coca-Cola Y3000, is crafted to capture the essence of the future and has aptly harnessed AI to assist in determining both its flavor and packaging. 

Coca-Cola’s decision to utilize AI stems from its desire to appeal to health-conscious consumers who have been avoiding sugary beverages. This market has been a significant challenge for soda manufacturers looking to promote their classic brands.  

To address this challenge, Coca-Cola turned to its Creations platform to churn out Y3000 and other limited-edition flavors, which aim to encapsulate the classic Coke essence while introducing a subtle twist.  In doing so, the beverage giant is trying to forge a more robust connection with younger consumers.

The company first looked to conventional human insights, conducting surveys to pinpoint flavors associated with the concept of the future. Later, Coca-Cola enlisted the support of AI to help in formulating flavor combinations and profiles, per the CNN report. 

To create the product’s packaging, which sports a Y2K aesthetic with pink and blue color schemes and a pixelated logo, Coca-Cola utilized AI-generated images to assemble a mood board for inspiration. The aluminum can proudly acknowledges its collaboration with AI through a prominent label: “Co-Created with AI.” 

Y3000, available in both zero and full sugar versions in the United States and Canada, is being offered for a limited time and costs the same as regular Coke. 

Like the other flavors introduced through Coca-Cola’s Creations platform, Y3000 offers consumers an interactive experience. By scanning a QR code on the Y3000 packaging, customers can access the Creations website, where they can explore futuristic scenarios 977 years in the future. 

In addition to the launch, there is a special limited-edition capsule collection created in collaboration with the luxury streetwear brand Ambush, set to be available on the brand’s website this fall. 

Night Shift Brewing Looks to Chat GPT for Recipe

Coca-Cola may be one of the larger beverage companies that have acknowledged the use of AI in recipe development, but they are by no means the pioneers in this regard. 

In March, PYMNTS reported that Night Shift Brewing, a Massachusetts-based brewery, employed AI-powered chatbot ChatGPT to innovate a fresh addition to its product portfolio. They tasked the AI with generating a formula that could be transformed into a unique beer for their brand. 

Co-founder Robert Burns found ChatGPT’s initial brewing formula to be outdated. 

“We asked, ‘Hey, can you make it more modern, can you make it more fruity, can you make it more tropical?” said Burns in an interview. “And after some prompts, we got a recipe out of it and decided to show it to our head brewer Joe [Mashburn] and see if we could make it.” 

The company also decided to use ChatGPT’s suggestion for the beer’s name: AI-P-A. 

For the beer’s label design, Night Shift utilized an AI software called Midjourney, which generates visuals based on text prompts provided by users, similar to OpenAI’s DALL-E.