Archive for Pepsi

Nerd Lunch Episode 19: Drill Down on Soda

Posted in Coca Cola, Mountain Dew, Pepsi, pop culture, soda with tags , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2012 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

Episode 19 is out for those following along. This week we are again joined by Shawn Robare from Branded in the 80s. this week the guys and I discuss a topic that is near and dear to my heart. Soda.

New CokeCherry Vanilla Dr Pepper

Pepsi Ice Cucumber

As you know, I talk about soda A LOT on this blog. I’m a big soda enthusiast so this is a fun episode for me. We don’t touch on the big topics like New Coke or Crystal Pepsi in any type of depth, but we do mention them. Honestly, discussing those two soda disasters could take an entire episode on its own.  But we discuss many other sodas.  We talk about our personal favorites, some favorites that have been cancelled as well as a nice discussion on the availability of Coke and Pepsi (or non-availability) in restaurants.

Download this episode from iTunes or listen to it on Feedburner. And yes, we are still on the Zune Marketplace.

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

Awesometoberfest banner

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.

Continue reading

The Cavalcade and Nerd Lunch dine like kings on the KFC Double Down

Posted in fast food, Kentucky Fried Chicken with tags , , , on July 22, 2011 by Paxton

Here we all are.  Part 3 of my road trip to Tallhassee to visit my blogging brother Carlin Trammel of Nerd Lunch.  After experiencing the religious experience that is the Tallhassee Auto Museum, we decided that while our spiritual selves are full, our physical selves are now empty.  What do we do to replenish our famished bodies?

I’ll tell you what we do.  We go to KFC and dine like victorious gladiators on Double Downs.  Tonight, we dine IN HELL!!! (or a ghetto KFC; 6 of one, half a dozen of another)

You should know, right before this trip, I found out KFC has started offering a 64 ounce (one half gallon) Mega Jug of soda.  So, being the bad ass that I am, I decided I needed to drink one.  And since I was going to be at KFC anyway I needed to order a Double Down in order to have something the 64 ounces of soda could wash down into my gullet.  So Carlin and I swagger into KFC like gunfighters prepared to place our manly orders in very loud voices so everyone would know that some sh*t was about to go down.  Maybe they might want to evacuate the women and children.

I cooly glance up at the menu for dramatic effect, and I don’t see either the Double Down or the Mega Jug.  What?  No Double Down?  Holy balls.  I am going to have to burn this joint TO THE GROUND.  Que Wolverine Berzerker Rage.  Right before I start tossing tables and bustin’ skulls, Carlin suggests I just ask if they have it.  I struggle to comprehend what Carlin means by his crazy talk.  Why would that work?  So I ask the lady if they still have the Double Down and Mega Jug soda fully expecting to punch her in the face when she denies me.

Punch

She says yes, narrowly escaping the Five Fingers of Doom, heads into the back for like 5 minutes and when she comes back she hands me the biggest cup I’ve ever seen in my life.  I pay for my goods and try to put soda into what can only be described as a bucket.

KFC Mega Jug 1

Check this out. The Mega Jug takes up THREE SPOTS on the soda fountain.  That would make getting a suicide easier.  So, I sit there for about 10 minutes while I fill the bucket up with Diet Pepsi.  Then I become concerned because I’m not entirely sure a human bladder is designed to house 64ozs of Diet Pepsi.

Continue reading

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).