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A while back, food conglomerate Kibun and soy giant Kikkoman announced a couple new flavors for their popular Tonyu Inryo line of soy milk. In and of itself, this wasn’t too surprising, as new varieties are regularly swapped in and out of the Tonyu Inryo lineup.

One of the new flavors caught the eye of our junk food loving team, though: healthy cola. Ordinarily, the words “healthy” and “cola” are in such direct opposition that we expected the package to be contain a paradox-induced black hole, or to at least be completely empty inside. To our surprise, though, Kibun was indeed able to develop its healthy cola soy milk, and we wasted no time in trying it.

We weren’t completely lacking in faith, as in the past we’ve enjoyed Tonyu Inryo that tastes like coffee, strawberry, and even the traditional Japanese confectionary sakura mochi. Still, an authentic cola flavor seemed like a particularly tall order for Kibun to deliver on.

▼ Abridged translation: This is soy milk

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Tonyu Inryo comes in paper packs similar to juice boxes. We brought ours back to the office, poked our straw in, and immediately detected the unmistakable aroma of cola.

Ordinarily, you’re supposed to just go ahead and drink directly from the pack with the straw. We couldn’t help but wonder what the healthy cola soy milk looked like. Did it have the deep brown color of a glass of Coke?

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Actually, despite its unique scent and flavoring, the cola Tonyu Inryo looks just like any other soy milk. As a matter of fact, we poured a cup of regular, plain soy milk to compare the two, and, while it might be our eyes playing tricks on us, if anything, the cola version (shown on the left) looks like the paler of the two. The healthy cola Tonyu Inryo also seems to have a thinner consistency than its plain predecessor.

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So does the beverage’s taste live up to Kibun’s claims that it’s “exactly like cola?” Well, there’s no mistaking the flavor for anything other than cola. There’s a slight bitterness to the aftertaste, though, and there’s a slight mental disconnect that comes from the lack of carbonation, but the healthy cola soy milk is still some tasty stuff. We’re not sure we’d say it’s “exactly like cola,” but it’s not going too far to say it’s almost exactly like cola.

To put the drink to the ultimate test, we had our resident cola nut, who bucks the current trend of low-calorie sodas by adding extra sugar, give the cola soy milk a shot. Even he came away impressed.

“It’s good!” he exclaimed. “They say cola is bad for you, so I feel a little guilty drinking my daily can of the stuff. This may not be 100 percent the same thing, but I could see myself going through a pack of cola soy milk every day.”

Still, he didn’t say he’s going to quit drinking the real stuff and switch over entirely. For the rest of us, though, who only need one cola-flavored drink a day, the healthy cola Tonyu Inryo just might be a viable substitute.

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Photos: RocketNews24
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