Snack Nation: Chocolate Sparkling soda

Snack Nation: Chocolate Sparkling soda

Suntory goes into uncharted territory with a clear sparkling soda flavored like milk chocolate
chocolate sparkling
The gold packaging and mock-British give the drink airs of a luxury soda rather than an intentionally crazy drink for rambunctious children.

Suntory's Chocolate Sparkling soda sounds incredibly revolutionary at first. A chocolate sparkling soda? Without the milk of an egg cream? Has the world gone mad?

And yet I can safely report that Chocolate Sparkling is not only plausible but quite drinkable.

There are some lingering mysteries, however. The actual beverage is completely colorless, which is an odd way to reinforce the 'chocolate' part of the concept. Perhaps Suntory wanted to emphasize a diet-friendly lightness in stark opposition to normal colas. Chocolate Sparkling may be intended as an alternative to a big frosty milkshake. (Or imported cases of Yoo-hoo.)

The taste? Chocolate soda makes perfect sense when contemplated through the conceptual lens of cream soda. Suntory's Chocolate Sparkling is basically a cream soda with chocolate instead of vanilla.

Overall, Suntory deserves credit for a well-made product. Sure the flavor is artificial and lacks the milky density usually associated with chocolate, but Chocolate Sparkling is a much stronger beverage than Pepsi's Azuki and Shiso experiments. The bouquet is nice, the carbonation strong and the flavor crisp. The only quirk is the light waxy-ness left on your lips after partaking.

Most impressive fact: Suntory concocted Chocolate Sparkling mostly from white grape fructose. And if you are wondering whether it's caffeinated, you better believe it.


W. David Marx was CNNGo's initial Tokyo City Editor. His writing has also appeared in magazines such as GQ, Brutus, Weekly Diamond, and Nylon, as well as his web joural Néojaponisme.

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