During the Super Bowl, the soda brand Poppi ran a commercial declaring “the future of soda is now.” Poppi has exploded in popularity in recent years, drawing in consumers with vague health claims and flashy packaging. And now, the brand has enough money to play with the big dogs, shelling out millions to feature its advertisement alongside those from Coke and Pepsi during America’s big game.

Is this the “no and low” movement for soda? Poppi, which only contains five grams of sugar, claims to support gut health and boost immunity, similar to the claims made by several brands in the non-alcoholic spirits and RTDs space. And while consumers may not swap their can of high fructose corn syrup-sweetened soda for Poppi every single time — just like how people don’t opt for NA drinks every time they drink — doing so occasionally can make us feel like we’re being a bit healthier while still enjoying a drink that’s not water.

As “healthy” soda brands continue to gain popularity, Big Soda’s attempts to keep up are getting stranger and stranger. Take Spiced Coke, for example. Drinkers are loving bold, spiced flavors right now and Spiced Coke would lead one to believe it’s going to be vaguely spicy. But instead it’s… raspberry flavored?

Today on the “VinePair Podcast,” Adam, Joanna, and Zach discuss the puzzling state of the soda market: Why did a self-proclaimed “good for you” brand shell out for a Super Bowl ad and what exactly does the American public want from this drink in a world of nearly infinite carbonated beverages? Also: Spiced Coke. Why? Then, the three hosts taste the aforementioned Poppi Classic Cola as well as the new Coca-Cola Spiced.

Joanna is reading: Can Black-Owned Distilleries Finally Claim a Piece of the $9 Billion Kentucky Bourbon Industry?
Zach is reading: We Asked 10 Bartenders: What’s the Trendiest Shot to Order Right Now?
Adam is reading: The 30 Best Bourbons for 2024

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