While Starbucks Japan boasts a never-ending parade of special Frappuccino flavors, the American coffeehouse isn’t the only foreign outfit to adapt its product lineup to Japan. Pepsi, through its partnership with local distributor Suntory, has also offered special flavors just for Japan, such as sakura, Christmas cake, and even Halloween “ghost.”
This spring, Pepsi Japan is set to roll out its newest creation, featuring one of Japan’s most delicious and refreshing traditional seasonings. The new Pepsi Japan Cola draws its inspiration from Japanese food culture, starting with Japan’s love of adding salt to treats such as watermelon, chocolate, and ice cream, which helps draw out even more of their sweetness. But Pepsi was also impressed at how many Japanese desserts manage to provide a burst of sweetness that seamlessly transitions into a clean, crisp finish, and one way they do this is with yuzu, a Japanese citrus fruit.
Yuzu’s flavor falls somewhere between an orange and a lemon, sharper than former but not as intrusive as the later. While the fruit is rarely eaten directly, it’s popular flavoring for cakes, dumplings, and sweet bean jams, and now Pepsi is promising a crisp, satisfying yuzu aftertaste for Pepsi Japan Cola.
▼ There’s also a zero-calorie Pepsi Japan Cola Zero version for people who want to quench their thirst without adding to their body weight.
Pepsi Japan Cola (which is a completely separate flavor from Pepsi’s J Cola that was released last year) goes on sale April 9, priced at 140 yen (US$1.25) for a 490-mililiter (16.6-ounce bottle), making it a viable option for adding some extra Japanese appeal to late-season cherry blossom viewing parties.