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Coca-Cola bottles the vibrancy of Africa

With a name inspired by the isiZulu term for “come here”, Wozzaah looks to embody the culture of and invite consumers to the continent.

Coca-Cola has unveiled its latest flavour from its Creations platform, Coca-Cola Wozzaah Zero Sugar, which looks to celebrate the vibrancy and dynamism of the entire African continent.

The flavour is available to purchase for a limited time in select markets including Nigeria, Algeria, South Africa and Morocco. It is a world-first for Coca-Cola, as it is the first product to be made 100% in Africa.

Wozzaah looks to embody Africa from its taste profile to its packaging to a range of partnerships and experiences that look to extend the launch to other physical and digital realms.

“It all is very inviting and colourful, but also very unapologetic and bold,” said Silke Bucker, senior director and Coca-Cola category lead for Africa. “Out of all the Creations, I believe this is one that’s quite in your face, because that’s very true to the African spirit.”

With artwork by Kenyan illustrator Joy Richu, the Wozzaah can stands out from even the more experimental Creations line with a design heavy on yellow and purple with accents of teal and the brand’s iconic red.

Inside the can

Coca-Cola’s team of food scientists attempted to answer the question, “What does Africa taste like?”

“We did a tasting session at the office last week and everyone’s experience is completely different,” Bucker said. “So even if I tell you what’s in it, your perception of what you think Africa is enhances the flavour notes that you pick up.”

Other reports describe the taste of Coca-Cola Wozzaah as beginning with the known classic Coke flavour,  remixed with unique, tropical notes that are found nowhere else but in Africa.

 Learning about culture

For each Creations launch, Coca-Cola takes inspiration from culture, watching emerging trends and celebrating fan communities around the globe. This time around, Coca-Cola drew from the growing influence of African culture on fashion, food and especially music, a sphere in which the sounds of Afrobeats and Amapiano have taken hold globally.

“Coca-Cola has the benefit of being a global brand and existing in pretty much everywhere around the world,” said Oana Vlad, senior director for global strategy at the company. “Together with a team in Africa, we’ve experienced the culture there and wanted to celebrate it and bring something really fun and new that’s vibrant, that’s literally an invitation into Africa.”

Wozzaah continues that invitation with a digital experience that doubles as a major first-party data play. The experience features different rooms, each inspired by the look and feel of a different country, including South Africa, Morocco, Algeria and Nigeria. 

“There’s nothing that an African hates as much as when people think Africa is a country,” Bucker said. “We’re trying to showcase the beautiful diversity and creative power of this continent.

“It’s not one-size-fits-all, it’s us trying to bring all the different parts in through our storytelling in the most authentic way that we can.”

Wozzaah is Coca-Cola’s eleventh flavour from a Creations platform that launched in 2022. Creations has featured esoteric flavours inspired by the “taste” of space, dreams and the metaverse, and has seen the marketer connect with cultural figures and tap into emerging sales channels like TikTok Shop. 

Whether quickly turning around a flavour, like Happy Tears, or determining how to approach regional communities, like its Asia-focused K-Wave flavour, Coca-Cola has been “learning in real time” with Creations, Vlad said. 

“The challenge for us is how do we try to stay super nimble and move as fast as possible,” the executive said. “We have some discipline to the sequencing and how we want to be doing things, but at the same time, we want to stay really flexible and tap into culture when it comes up.”

Source: Coca-Cola Co, Food Dive