Why Some Coca-Cola Bottles Have Yellow Caps Right Now

updated Apr 17, 2024
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Credit: Shelley Gans

Passover, the Jewish holiday celebrating the journey of Israelites from slavery to freedom, is approaching. Food-wise, there are a lot of rules centered around what can and cannot be eaten. I won’t get into all of the details of keeping Kosher for Passover, but this is the simplest explanation: Leavened foods or foods with ingredients made from barley, rye, oats, wheat, or spelt are off-limits. Some Jews also avoid legumes and other grains like corn.

That means high-fructose corn syrup (a key ingredient in conventional Coca-Cola!) is off-limits too. Not only is the ubiquitous sweetener made from corn, but it’s also made from an enzyme (alpha-amylase) that is typically derived from barley. Naturally, the folks at Coca-Cola have a solution.

Credit: Shelley Gans

Depending on where you live, as Passover time approaches, you might start to spot two-liter Coca-Cola and Diet Coca-Cola bottles with bright yellow caps. There’s also a bit of Hebrew printed on the top, which translates to “Kosher for Passover.”

Credit: Shelley Gans

Scan the bottle a bit further and you’ll notice that this “limited edition” formula is made with sucrose or cane sugar instead of the corn-based stuff. Fun fact: The sucrose used instead of high-fructose corn syrup was actually part of Coke’s original recipe. Another fun fact? Sucrose (a fancy name for table sugar) is the reason why so many are convinced that Mexican Coke tastes better than Coke made with high-fructose corn syrup.

So if you seek out Mexican Coke for its distinctive sweetness, you’ll like yellow-capped Coke for the same reason (in addition to the fact that it’s Kosher for Passover!).

Credit: Shelley Gans

Plus, while Coke hecho en Mexico is only sold in 12-ounce glass bottles with a high import tax, U.S. Kosher-for-Passover Coke is sold in two-liter bottles, and is available at the same year-round price as conventional Coke. (So when you see it, snag it! You won’t find a better deal on this classic sucrose version.)

Credit: Mara Weinraub

Here’s a secret from the reps at Coca-Cola: Kosher for Passover Coke and Diet Coke doesn’t have a wide-sweeping national program. Shoppers may have the most luck finding it in grocery stores with a Jewish food section or in areas with a sizable Jewish population. Another reason to stock up when you spot the yellow caps!

Have you spotted Coca-Colas with a yellow cap this year yet?