Salted caramel and cake-flavored Pepsi have made their debut.
Lately, soda companies have been more and more interested in reducing sugar in their drinks. Coca-Cola, for instance, is willing to pay $1 million for a sugar substitute. Americans, as they become more obsessed with healthy eating, have finally started drinking more bottled water than soda. But what if a soda company decided to forget all that, and go in the exact opposite direction. Enter Pepsi, which has released two new dessert-themed flavors that actually embrace the sugar instead of spurning it.
The first, available in Japan is a limited-edition flavor called Christmas Cola, and it’s cake-flavored. In Japan, Christmas is often celebrated with a cake covered in whipped cream and strawberries, and this white soda is meant to evoke that dessert, with a “sweet and tart strawberry aroma,” according to Kotaku. Yes, Halloween just ended, but Christmas treats are already upon us.
The second flavor, which you can get here in America, is Salted Caramel Pepsi. It’s also a limited-edition flavor and really leans into its dessert theme, by making an already unhealthy drink even sweeter by adding caramel flavor (however, in a statement from the company, Pepsi informed me that Salted Caramel Pepsi contains less sugar than the regular version). Savory desserts that use a mix of sugar and salt flavors are certainly in vogue right now, but even imagining drinking caramel—which belongs on brownies and cookies, not in a bottle—makes this Pepsi iteration seem, perhaps, a little less appealing.
A cake-flavored soda, on the other hand, is intriguing. Whipped cream and strawberry flavors aren’t exactly intuitive soda ingredients, but they’re at least interesting ones. We can imagine a lighter, fruitier soda emerging from that combination, instead of a possibly denser, super-sweet flavor in the salted caramel version.
Don’t take our word for it, though. Get out there and grab a Salted Caramel Pepsi and try it yourself, before its run on grocery store shelves ends. As for the Christmas Cola, we Americans will just have to keep fantasizing about what it must be like to drink a slice of cake.
Update 11/8: A statement from Pepsi clarified that Salted Caramel Pepsi contains less sugar than it's original counterpart.