Coca-Cola Ginger was launched Down Under on Monday, as the South Hemisphere country ushers in summer.
Marina Rocha, group marketing manager for Coca-Cola South Pacific, described the drink as having "just a subtle hint of ginger," but staff at news.com.au, Australia's biggest news site, judged the ginger flavor to be insipid.
"There's a subtle gingery scent and aftertaste, but if you're going to do ginger, you have to commit," one said.
That Australians would demand a bold ginger taste is unsurprising; Coca-Cola South Pacific itself noted that sales of ginger-flavored drinks were up 6 percent in the country over the past year, and Bundaberg Ginger Beer has been a favorite since it was launched in 1960.
According to presentation materials used at its investor day on October 21, the company saw a 0.9 percent drop in the volume of "sparkling beverages" in the 12 months to June 30. In contrast, demand for "still beverages" or non-fizzy drinks rose 20.6 percent.
There may be more surprises ahead, however. Coca-Cola Amatil said there were plans for a "pipeline of new flavors for Coca-Cola."