Coming soon: Pepsi Azuki

Coming soon: Pepsi Azuki

Pepsi is evidently the new Kit Kat, desperately churning out crazy flavor after crazy flavor on a seasonal basis
pepsi azuki
The packaging for Pepsi Azuki tries to leverage some traditional Japanese aesthetics in order to make the flavor seem less insane.

Big news from Japan Probe: Pepsi is launching a brand new flavor for autumn -- Pepsi Azuki. Unless we are horribly mistaken, this may be the world's first sweet red-bean soda.

Azuki soda succeeds in terms of shock value, but feels like a retreat from the paradigm-shifting Pepsi Shiso from summer 2009. Pepsi's bold experiment with shiso moved the perilla herb out of the minty garnish community and into the 'big time' of first-tier soda flavorings. The world may not have been ready for Pepsi Shiso, but even if it was, Pepsi was going to pull the plug two months after its debut anyway.

Compared to shiso, azuki is a very common Japanese dessert flavor -- already comfortable in the realm of Kit Kat bars and other combini snacks. Somebody was going to offer an azuki soda at some point in history -- Pepsi just took the initiative to be the first.

The drink hits shelves on October 20 and will be gone soon after. We will report back with a taste test at that time.