Torani’s flavor scientists—yes, such a job exists—took their inspiration for the company’s first-ever fantasy flavor from a 2009 article in the Guardian revealing astronomers’ discovery that the molecular structure of space, ethyl formate, has the flavor of raspberries and smells like rum.
Thus, Puremade Galaxy Syrup was born.
While the heart of the Milky Way may taste “vaguely of raspberries,” according to the article, Torani’s new flavor comes on way too strong for some earthbound palates.
“It’s cotton candy meets blue raspberry,” Standard reporter Garrett Leahy said. “I wouldn’t go back for more.”
Yet, according to Mailyne Park, the food scientist behind the flavor’s development, Galaxy became the company’s bestseller the day it was released. Park recommends consuming it in iced tea, energy drinks or cold brew with cream.
Despite being credited with the birth of the vanilla latte, Torani’s latest flavor tastes better on ice and signals a new stage for the company.
“We are getting into the consumer era when beverages are more than just hot,” Park said.
While the company’s previous flavors of the year—such as 2023’s black sesame—have echoed larger food trends, 2024’s signature syrup is in its own category altogether.
“It was a little more challenging to develop because it’s a fantasy flavor,” Park said. “There are no items on the market to compare it with.”
The new syrup mirrors a larger leaning toward make-believe flavors that appeal to younger customers and add whimsy and fun to beverage making: Think Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino, Coca-Cola’s Starlight flavor and Polar Seltzer’s dizzying array of storybook-like soda waters.
Torani also hopes to capitalize on a star-studded astronomical calendar in 2024, with the Great North American Solar Eclipse happening in April and the NASA Artemis II moon mission—the first crewed voyage to the moon since 1972—targeted for later in the year.
“This new syrup is a tangible flavor experience inspired by both fact and hypothesis,” said Andrea Ramirez, Torani’s customer and consumer insights manager.
“We can’t visit space and consume the dust, but we can make educated guesses,” she added.