Archive for Mountain Dew

Fizzy Failures: 12 Discontinued sodas

Posted in Coca Cola, Mountain Dew, New Coke, OK Soda, Pepsi, pop culture, soda with tags , , , , , , on November 10, 2011 by Paxton

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A few years ago I wrote two articles for the Archie McPhee website Monkey Goggles. They also republished two other articles I wrote here (Glorious Glass and Origins of Our Favorite Toys).  It was a fun little site with quirky humor/pop culture articles and I was glad to contribute.  My buddy Shawn over at Branded in the 80s also wrote a few articles for the site.

Anyway, it seems that the Monkey Goggles website has stopped updating.  There haven’t been any new articles for the last year or so (since editor Geoff Carter left).  So, like Shawn, I decided to archive my articles here before they are swallowed by the Internet.  Today, you are looking at the first all-new article I wrote for the site.  It’s about failed soda.

The Cola Wars of the ’80s and ’90s really brought about a lot of competitive creativity between Pepsi and Coke (and to a lesser degree, 7-Up). They threw whatever soda flavor they could conceive of against the wall to see what would stick. Some worked (Cherry Coke, Mountain Dew Code Red), and some blew up in their faces like a novelty cigar (New Coke, Crystal Pepsi).

Instead of marveling at the thrills of victory, let’s wallow in the agony of their failures. Here’s a list of some of the most spectacular soda failures from the long history of the Cola Wars.

New Coke

New Coke – No list like this one is complete without mentioning the Godfather of all soda failures. Released in 1985, New Coke caused the collective soda-drinking world to lose its damn mind. Coke drinkers actually tried to levy a class action lawsuit against Coke for releasing the new formula. (Seriously.)

It was a fiasco. Coke was forced to bring back Coke Classic not three months after releasing New Coke. After the return of Classic Coke, New Coke was re-branded Coke II and then died a slow death in 1992. The “Classic” moniker still exists on the can to this day. (Read a more complete history of New Coke here).

Crystal Pepsi

Crystal Pepsi – Apparently Pepsi wanted in on all the hate mail and lawsuits Coke got for New Coke. So they decided that they too would try something new. In 1992, Crystal Pepsi was released with great fanfare, including a high-profile commercial during that year’s Super Bowl.

Unfortunately, Crystal Pepsi failed to live up to expectations. A clear cola that didn’t have a lemon-lime taste frightened and confused the soda-drinking public. It became more a novelty than a soda to be taken seriously. Many people don’t remember, though, that for its first year Crystal Pepsi sold well enough to grab an 11% market share (and caused Coke to release the next item on this list). After that banner year, however, the bottom dropped out and Crystal Pepsi’s sales plummeted.

As a last ditch effort, Pepsi reformulated Crystal Pepsi with a lemon-lime flavor and re-branded it as Crystal by Pepsi. Too little, too late.

TaB Clear
TaB Clear – Coke released this clear soda in 1992 after the strong first year sales of Crystal Pepsi. After the clear soda crash that same year, it was quickly discontinued.

OK Soda
OK Soda – In 1992, Coke decided to try something new and released this less carbonated, more fruity soda with anunconventional marketing campaign. Fliers, soda “manifestos” and “underground” phone numbers with voicemail were used to target the youth market. This tactic was definitely different, but it backfired as the targeted audience realized it was being marketed what executives at Coke believed to be an “edgy” soft drink. After poor sales, OK Soda was discontinued in 1993.

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Mt Dew Pitch Black’s Glorious Return to Store Shelves

Posted in Mountain Dew, Pepsi, pop culture, soda with tags , , , , on May 23, 2011 by Paxton

Sodapalooza

Back in March I mentioned that Pepsi was re-releasing the original Mt Dew Pitch Black to store shelves this Memorial Day. I was surprised they weren’t going to do it for Halloween, but whatever, that means we get Pitch Black back into our lives and there’s nothing more important than having that Black Grapey goodness back inside me.

Well, you may have heard the girlish screams coming from Jacksonville this weekend, because I found brand new 12 packs of the 2011 Pitch Black.

Mt Dew Pitch Black 2011

As a matter of fact, I’m drinking one of them right now. And it’s delicious. It tastes exactly as I remember. Mt Dew citrus + black grape = toe curling awesomeness. And the design of the 12 pack/cans are nearly identical to the original release. Pepsi really only updated the logo. Check it out compared to the original Pitch Blacks I and II (left to right).

Pitch Black family

I love that they kept the design of the can so close to the original. Even including the silver Limited Edition label.

I thought I would let another, possibly more impartial, person taste the new drink to see if it is, in fact, still tasty.  In a bid for parent of the year, I decided the impartial judge will be my 8 month old son, PJ.  He was certainly up to the task and tore into the can like he was Teen Wolf and Pitch Black was a can of beer.

PJ and Pitch Black 1 PJ and Pitch Black 2

I’m sure Pepsi will be thrilled that they passed the “8 month old boy” taste test with flying colors.

Like I said, it tastes awesome and I look forward to finishing my 12 pack. I’m going to stock up on these like a case of fine French Bordeaux because I don’t know how long they’ll be around. Maybe Pepsi plans on re-releasing Pitch Black II later in the year?  We’ll see.  Hopefully Pitch Black can be an annual release every year much like Cranberry Sierra Mist (which is also awesome).

Mt Dew Pitch Black to return in 2011

Posted in Mountain Dew, Pepsi, pop culture, soda with tags , , , , on March 14, 2011 by Paxton

Sodapalooza

Mt Dew Pitch Black returns

Yes, according to Mt Dew on Facebook, the fan favorite Mt Dew Pitch Black from Halloween 2004 is returning to store shelves in 2011.  Being a soda dork this, for me, is like the announcement of another Back to the Future movie or The Fat Boys releasing a new album.  This is EPIC.

I reviewed all three of the different iterations of Mt Dew Pitch black in my AWESOME-tober-fest 2008 article here.

Here are some pics of the original Pitch Black:

Mt Dew Pitch Black fridge pack
Box from a 12 pack of Pitch Black cans

Mt Dew Pitch Black label
Label from a 20oz bottle of Pitch Black.

Mt Dew Pitch Black Freeze
ICEE version of Mt Dew Pitch Black sold in Target during Halloween 2007.

Mt Dew Pitch Black caffeine Free(via xpectations)
The fairly rare Canadian Pitch Black which was caffeine free. The Pitch Black in the states, as far as I know, was not offered without caffeine.

Mt Dew Pitch Black lip balm(via Valeri-DBF)
Mt Dew Pitch Black as a lip balm. For the last few years, this was the only way you could get Pitch Black. Notice that it uses the newer Mt Dew logo (well, newer than the 2004 cans and bottles).

Reviews of 5 brand new sodas in stores now

Posted in Mountain Dew, Pepsi, reviews, soda with tags , , , , on April 27, 2010 by Paxton

Sodapalooza

There have been some new soda flavor releases recently. I’ve picked up a bunch of them and I’m going to review them for you right now.

Mt Dew is back doing the whole Dewmocracy voting thing. If you remember, back in 2008 Mountain Dew released three test market flavors nationwide (SuperNova, Voltage and Revolution) and had people vote on which one became the new permanent Mt Dew flavor.  This resulted in Mt Dew Voltage winning a permanent spot on the nation’s shelves.  Well, Mt Dew is doing this whole thing again with three new flavors for us to try and vote on.  They were released to stores this April and they are Mt Dew Distortion, Mt Dew White Out and Mt Dew Typhoon.  Let’s see if they are any good.

Mt Dew Distortion
Mt Dew Distortion – This flavor is a lime-blasted Mt Dew. The taste is very similar to the Taco Bell exclusive Mt Dew Baja Blast.  This Dew is a little bit more bitter on the aftertaste than Baja Blast, mainly because Baja Blast has pineapple in its flavor to tone that down.  I like lime, I like Mt Dew, so I like this flavor.  However, the coloring and label are too similar to the original Dew and it doesn’t stand out enough for me.  A good flavor that may get lost in the shuffle.

Mt Dew White Out
Mt Dew White Out – Unlike Distortion, this flavor does stand out.  The bright white and blue packaging and disconcertingly white liquid color make this stand out from the drink cooler in every way. How is the taste? Well, it’s labeled as a “smooth citrus” Dew and it doesn’t lie, it is definitely smooth tasting. A light, sweet Dew with very little aftertaste.  I’m just wondering how this smooth citrus is different than the regular Dew citrus? Once again, confusion with the existing brand.  I can see this getting votes on it’s mild taste and eye-catching design.

Mt Dew Typhoon
Mt Dew Typhoon – This is a tropical Punch infused Mountain Dew.  I love the blue/red color combination and the bright red liquid color (but, that too is very similar to Mt Dew Code Red).    The taste is very good.  It has a nice fruit punch flavor that works well with the normal Mt Dew citrus.  The taste actually reminds me of the limited edition Halo 3 Mt Dew Game Fuel from 2008.  I would say that this is my favorite flavor so far, with White Out second and Distortion a close third.  However, unless they make these in diet, I really won’t be drinking them.  Which is a shame, because I like all three of these flavors.  I actually think all of these flavors are much better than the Diet Mt Dew UltraViolet they released last fall.  If they made any of these in diet I would regularly drink it.

So, how’s the voting going?  If you go to Dewmocracy.com, you can see an up to date map by state of the results.
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Mt Dew begins voting again for three new flavors

Posted in Mountain Dew, Pepsi, soda with tags , , , on February 8, 2010 by Paxton

Sodapalooza

Dewmocracy logo

Back in 2008, Mountain Dew held a promotion called Dewmocracy.  People would visit the Dewmocracy website, play games, choose different flavors to be mixed into Mt Dew, and the hordes would then vote on the best sounding Mt Dew mix.  After the top three flavor combinations were tallied, logo and packaging designs were developed.  Then, all three sodas were revealed to the public in April 2008.  People bought the three sodas, tasted them, then went back to the Dewmocracy website to vote on their favorite.

The three flavors everyone was voting on were Mt Dew Supernova (Strawberry-Melon), Mt Dew Revolution (Wild Berry) and Mt Dew Voltage (Raspberry-Citrus).

Dewmocracy

Then, the winner of the contest was revealed in August 2008 to be Mt Dew Voltage. Not my favorite of the three, but it wasn’t my least favorite.

Mt Dew Voltage wins

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