Coca-Cola is on the hunt for a sugar Alternative. Actually, the company is looking for someone to come up with a sugar alternative. There is a $1 million prize at stake for the winner.

Coke is looking for a compound that can create the taste sensation of sugar when used in products. However, the compound has to either contain low or no calories, be safe and natural. Coke doesn't want the compound to be derived from Monk Fruit, Stevia or other species or substances that are internationally protected.

In a statement, Coke said it was always looking for newer and better ingredients.

Coca-Cola continued to say that amazing ideas can come from anywhere.

Winner receives the prize in 2018

Coke will award the $1 million prize to the winner on October 3rd, 2018. The company said they aren't asking people to taste novel substances or consume them, nor are they asking them to take substances that have unknown toxicities. They went on to say that participants shouldn't consume or taste anything that hasn't been approved for human consumption when trying to come up with a sugar alternative.

Up to 10 semifinalists to be chosen

A panel of qualified judges will be assembled by Coca-Cola. The judges will rank submissions as they come in. On February 21st, 2018, the judges will choose up to 10 semifinalists.

The top-ranked semifinalists will be contacted by Coca-Cola, so they can provide the company with paperwork regarding material safety data, shipping, and customs info. A sample of the compound/molecule will also need to be provided.

On April 11th, the judges will choose up to three finalists. After that, Coca-Cola will conduct more tests on the samples for a period of up to six months.

The company will gather more information. Coca-Cola may also seek out sample material.

A Second contest

Coca-Cola is running a second contest, called the "Sweet Story Challenge". The company is asking for anecdotes on tried and true ways the participant's culture, community or family has sweetened drinks and foods, but naturally.

The winner of the contest will receive $100,000.

Back in July, the CEO of Coca-Cola, James Quincey, said that they were embracing the test and learn mentality as the company expands its portfolio. He added that Coca-Cola is seeing what their consumers want and they are making adjustments right away. He also said speed and agility were important in today's consumer landscape, due to how things can rapidly change.