A "red soda" produced by Coca-Cola, somewhat akin to Faygo Redpop but less appetizing.

I first saw Red Flash in a Tampa Eckerd store in January 2001, and knew I had to try it -- if not for novelty value, then to have something interesting to node. When I opened the bottle, the first whiff reminded me of a bubble gum scent.

Red Flash tasted vaguely like strawberry licorice to me; the bubble gum scent lingered like a vacationing houseguest.

The ingredients don't give much away, but the list will suffice:

UPDATE! Coke has dodged the question of what flavor this stuff is supposed to be. They've also created a new mystery: how did this stuff end up in Tampa? Read on for more...

I wrote to them:

I've just tried your "Red Flash" soda and am puzzled. It smells like bubble gum. Should I chew it or drink it? What flavor were you trying to give it? I really can't imagine.

I noticed Red Flash isn't listed on your site under "Brands". Does this mean it's still in a trial stage? In which markets, specifically, is it being tested? (I found it in Tampa.) (Note: Tampa is in Florida. Remember that when you read their answer.)

The ingredients include caffeine. How many milligrams of caffeine are in an 8-oz serving of Red Flash?

If nobody likes it any better than I did (and that's entirely possible -- this is worse than Faygo Diet Redpop, and that's saying something), how long will it be on shelves before Coke cuts its losses and calls it a day?

Thanks for your time.

And they responded:

We appreciate your candid feedback with us and do apologize for the unpleasant experience you had while consuming our product. Currently Red Flash is only being produced at the San Antonio bottler, but the McAllen, TX bottler will start producing it soon. Red Flash is available in south Texas only (San Antonio, San Benito, Austin, Del Rio, Waco, Temple, McAllen, Laredo, Corpus Cristi). Soon, it will be available in Houston, TX. There are 27mg of caffeine per 8 ounce serving.

Your comments are appreciated and will be shared with the appropriate management.


Now will someone please tell me how in the name of Scarlett O'Hara these addle-pated Atlantans thought Tampa was in Texas? More to the point -- how did this stuff end up in my mouth? I'm a thousand miles away (by car) from San Antone. Maybe it's like those migrating birds -- only this time the swallows were in Tampa, not San Jaun Capistrano.

This is creepy.

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