“The taste of limitless possibilities.” “The flavors of unknown stars.” “Tastes like magic.” While Coca-Cola Starlight’s promotional materials are pretty elaborate when it comes to capturing the soda’s galactic aesthetic, they’re surprisingly lax about, well, what it actually tastes like. Fortunately, I’m prepared to take one small step for reviewer, one giant leap for junk food fankind!
Pouring the drink from its adorably tiny, star-speckled can (it’s also available in the typical 20 oz bottle) into a clear glass showed that it’s as red as Mars. Okay, maybe more of a burgundy, but it’s certainly more colorful than your average Coke. I sampled the full-sugar version, though you can also get Starlight as sugar-free. It had the general taste you’d expect of Coke, simultaneously sweet and bitingly carbonated. However, there’s another note that, much like a UFO, wasn’t possible for me to immediately identify.
At first, I wanted to describe it as fruity, but upon further probing, I think that was just the influence of the berry-like hue. Starlight’s unique flavor — which was especially prominent in the aftertaste and even in the soda’s scent — is actually closer to that of a graham cracker. Coca-Cola also notes that a “subtle cooling sensation” is one of this drink’s features. When pressed, I could indeed vaguely identify a chilly feeling similar to when you drink water directly after brushing your teeth with mint toothpaste. But honestly, I didn’t really notice it until I looked for it, so I guess the “subtle” part is right!
Starlight’s theme is a bit unusual for a brand that usually determines flavors by slapping the name of a fruit in front of “Coca-Cola.” But I can make out a train of thought somewhere along the lines of “Space -> stars -> stargazing -> camping -> s’mores -> graham cracker, ergo space flavor = graham cracker.”
It may not be the most intuitive fit, but if you’re willing to think outside the box a little, it works pretty well, and I think the same can be said for Starlight’s taste. While I could still see this offering fitting in well with classic fruity faves like Cherry Vanilla in a Coca-Cola Freestyle Machine, I, for one, praise our Coca-Cola overlords for making a new flavor that defies such simple characterization.
Starlight is also not just tasty but trendy, already rocking collaborations with singer Ava Max and fashion brand Staple. I felt about a million light-years old trying to figure out how to scan my can with my phone camera to pull up an augmented reality concert from a holographic Ms. Max, but the concept had me starry-eyed. Because Starlight’s release coincides with the launch of the new Coca-Cola Creations, a “global innovation platform” that will spotlight an array of Coca-Cola-branded products and experiences both physical and digital, we can expect more innovative flavors and applications to come.
Sadly, like many other stars, Starlight’s time in the limelight is fleeting, as it’s limited edition. Ultimately, I think the combination of curious concept, creative marketing crossovers, and, of course, uniquely yummy taste means it’s well worth jetting off for.
Purchased Price: $7.29
Size: 7.5 oz cans/10 pack
Purchased at: Stop & Shop
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 90 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 20 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of total carbohydrates, 24 grams of total sugars, 0 grams of fiber, and 0 grams of protein.
43 thoughts to “REVIEW: Coca-Cola Limited Edition Starlight”
What a great intro. there, Jenna–thanks for sacrificing yourself for the rest of us! 😉
I am still confused. So this is a fruity, graham cracker, toothpaste flavored Coke?
Stay confused! It’s not WORTH the clarity! It’s disgusting. (What would you expect when the review compares it to a graham cracker, huh?)
The ingredients say “fruit and vegetable juice for color” right after “natural flavors”. My brain says: “Vegetables?!? Why on Earth would you put vegetables into a cola beverage? And for COLOR?!? WTF?”
I’ll tell you what…. I need some toothpaste to cleanse my palate of this gross concoction! Space would be a better place for it. Someone give the rest of this to Bezos and Musk. Let them take it where it belongs! LITERALLY out of this world.
Its like coke mixed with dr pepper
I just tried it, and it was nasty. To me it tasted a little like coke and a lot like lemon girl scout cookies with cotton candy overlay. Yuck…
To me, it tasted so strongly of S’mores I couldnt avoid it, if I took small sips. like just heavy toasted marshmallow flavor with an aftertaste of chocolate
I thought it tasted mostly like cream soda with a slight raspberry tinge to it. The weird thing is, it smells like regular coke and initially tastes like regular coke. You really only get the new flavor in the aftertaste, which is weird. Usually, a new flavored soda has a new smell and taste altogether and you taste the new taste immediately, not in the aftertaste. I’m not really much of a soda drinker, but I’ll try new releases like this one. I wasn’t really impressed by it. I thought the Orange Vanilla coke was a lot better for a new released flavor.
I’m glad I’m not the only person that got cream soda when they had it. I thought it tasted like Dr. Pepper and cream.
I agree. The Orange Vanilla is possible the best new Coke flavor — ever!
I like it. I drink Cherry Coke as it is. This Coke to (to me) also taste like it has some Cherry flavor with something light like Canada Dry. I’ll keep buying it.
To me, it tasted like Crunch Berries cereal. A second sip tasted strongly of grahm cracker….Not a fan.
Any idea how much caffeine is in this?
The caffeine in starlight coke zero is 57mg/20 fl oz.
Where did Jenna purchase this Starlight Coca-Cola? Was it left on her doorstep by a charitable extra-terrestrial?
That’s what I’m wondering as well. For some reason, that part was left out at the bottom of the review:
Purchased Price: $7.29
Size: 7.5 oz cans/10 pack
Rating: 7 out of 10
Oops, sorry, I must have forgotten to fill that field for some reason! Purchased from Stop & Shop (though I did splurge for an Instacart delivery so the “left on my doorstep” bit is not inaccurate, haha!)
Stop & Shop, you say? Are you in the New England area? I live in California now, which sadly means no Drakes Cakes for me, but I lived in Massachusetts for most of my life. I only saw Stop & Shop in MA.
I was disappointed in Coca Cola Starlight, not because it tasted bad, it was good. But it didn’t have any particular taste like their other flavored varieties, which I like a lot. It just tastes like New Coke 2022.
All I know is I love it. Usually to me I’m a reg coke person . The flavored ones like vanilla or cherry..are too much for me but this is a subtle flavor kinda fruity just wonderful . It’s like a lil party on a weekday . Hope it stays
A lil party in your mouth. 🙂
It’s cream soda with coke (so marshmallow fits) and the V8 splash that makes it red is very subtly in it
Like a toasted Dr. Pepper cream soda with pomegranate twist maybe. ingredients say fruit and vegetable juice for… color possible pomegranate or beet.
I thought it tasted like some kind of berry flavored cotton candy
Ok I tried this one before you buy this cola first you need to buy Oreo (Cinnamon bun) then you can try your Cola easily you can find out 90% similarity in teste of these two.
plz don’t let color to cheat your brain the cherry taste come from what you are looking to.
have fun 😉
At first it reminded me of the Salted Caramel Pepsi that was out a few years ago, i.e. cola with extra caramel flavor. Then the aftertaste hit my tongue, and it did have a slightly minty flavor. If you’re drinking a 20 oz. bottle, I think the mint flavor becomes more noticeable as the cola warms up.
I bought a 20 oz a few days ago and, much to my surprise, really liked it. To me, it was a combo of cola with marshmallow and graham flavor, but I did not detect the chocolate. Not sure the point of this new flavor, but it’s likeable.
But now I want a chocolate Coke.
The flavor is coke + smores (graham cracker and marshmallow) + mint.
This review is spot on. Coke with a scent/aftertaste of graham crackers and maybe marshmallow. Way too sweet for my taste (129% of your daily allowance of sugar in one bottle!), but not horrible. The flavor is much more noticeable once it warms up to room temp.
It tastes like a galaxy in your mouth! like a cotton candy full of stars. Very Very yummy!
I would have to agree with your assessment there for the most part Miss Coca-Cola Starlight,but I also taste some vanilla and maybe even a little hint of some an original flavored bubble gum flavor in addition to the cotton candy flavor:)
Got it for free from Safeway. My sister and I split it. We couldn’t decide what it tasted like. I said it tastes like a smell. We then decided it was sandalwood or some sort of incense. I drank all of mine and she didn’t finish her portion. Definitely needs to be very cold in temperature and probably suited for someone who enjoys something very different. I would try it again.
Again, well done Jenna. I love your reviews !!!!
Great review! I tried it for the first time and it tasted just like regular coke, but then the after taste hit and i have tasted it ever since. It’s cotton candy!! it’s amazing!!
It tasted like cotton candy grapes to me.
Finally got a taste of this today. Like Cherikee Red pop and a splash of Dr. Pepper to me. Way sweeter than reg Coke.
It’s interesting that several of you said graham cracker aftertaste. I had thought gingerbread which is kind of in the same category. Different, but I won’t buy it again
I picked up my first and likely only 10-pk of 7.5oz mini-cans at Walmart for like $4.62. And thank you Jenna for identifying that graham cracker taste I couldn’t quite place, but there’s something wrong with it, like it’s a stale or flat taste of graham, and that’s not a winning flavor IMO. Like others have noted, we found the summer-time availability of Coke Orange Vanilla to be the best of all novelty flavors, followed by Cherry Vanilla, and Cherry. Coke would do well to make Orange Vanilla standard and remove one of the three plus diet/zeroes.
This would not be something i run out and stock up on. Its doesnt taste like space. More like??
Starlight is nothing like a coke (classic). I have no idea what people are tasting … this is my take on it (I’m a coke lover): it’s like when crystal clear Pepsi came out lol. I don’t taste any coke flavor. It’s red. And it tastes like black cherry soda … you could even compare it to berries and cream or something. At least cherry coke and cherry Vanilla Coke taste like flavored coke. Starlight is boring. Not tasty. I disagree with the raspberry/mint/s’mores/marshmallow reviews. I don’t get it. Will never buy again 🙁
I am not a coke drinker, but was intrigued to try this when I stopped by a local Wawa. It’s nasty. I doesn’t taste at all like a flavored coke but rather a whole new soda that could probably be rebranded as it’s own brand. I got the zero sugar version and even that one is cloyingly sweet. After about 4-5 sips, I set it off to the side and forgot about it. Around 2 hours later, I attempted again and when it’s warm, it’s even more gross. I threw it out and was wishing I could get my money back.
I LOVE this Coke Zero Starlight flavor! Please keep it. To me, it takes like coke zero & adding a little bit of Rum. It’s an acquired taste, at first I wasn’t impressed, but now I’m hooked.
Please keep this flavor.
its like coke zero mixed with dr pepper.
What a MISTAKE; picked one up thinking it was a regular COKE. It was so AWFUL, I thought I
was going to be sick.
Finally, someone else who isn’t getting cotton candy vibes from this drink. Every review I’ve read has said it tasted like cotton candy and I was puzzled as to why, because that’s not what I tasted. (Perhaps we have different tastebuds from those who taste cotton candy?) It definitely is a unique flavor that is hard to pinpoint. I did get that cooling sensation in the aftertaste which was pleasant. I also think the taste of Starlight changes depending on the temperature you drink it at (room temperature vs. cold/over ice). I get the graham cracker (best way to describe because it’s a difficult flavor to explain) flavor when I drink it cold. When it’s room temperature I think it’s sweeter tasting and maybe leaning towards some sort of berry flavor??? Again, it’s hard to describe what exactly I was tasting.