Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The failed flavors of Pepsi

My mind wanders throughout the day. One day late last week it meandered to a time before I lived within minutes of Minnesota's Twin Cities. After a week of eating too much mexican food with co-workers for lunch, I picked up a bottle of a new soda on my way to visit my girlfriend for the weekend. I grabbed a new creation brought to us by Pepsi. This highly touted and highly advertised 'Pepsi Blue'. It had so much promise. Such intensive marketing. Such ability to turn my stomach into one large acid bath.

In short, 'Pepsi Blue' did nothing even close to quenching my thirst. That twenty ounce bottle of blue death sat in my car for the entire three days I was out of town. Any time we would venture off somewheere that weekend, I would take a few sips of the vile liquid only to have it mix in my stomach and create a dangerous chemical reaction. In one word, it gave me heartburn. I never get heartburn. It was simply awful. But having spent $1.09 of my hard-earned cash on this crap, I persisted in drinking it. (Later finding out that consumers labeled it along the lines of shampoo and windex, even altering the colors of one's poo)

Needless to say, by late Sunday as I made my way home, I ditched a half-full bottle of this poison in the nearest garbage can as I filled my Grand Prix with $1.37/gallon gas (yeah, this took place waaay back in 2002).

This one odd memory led me to this question. How many times has Pepsi rolled out a failed brand?

The one prior, by nearly a decade, to this flop is the blip in the history books known as 'Crystal Pepsi'. Rightfully so, Pepsi and its parent company make no mentions of either failed product on their websites.

Frontline even did an episode on Pepsi's marketing - the Pepsi Challenge. You remember, the spots where people tasted both Coke & Pepsi, claimed Pepsi as better and went on to buy Coke in even LARGER numbers than before?...

Upon further investigation here, the only mentions of Pepsi flavors no longer with are the two I have mentioned here and the once-popular 'Lemon Lime Slice'. All that remains of the 'Slice' brand is its Orange brother - and even that is sparse.

Digging one step further, though, reveals numerous failed brands of Pepsi though not under the Pepsi nameplate. Its corporate parent, PepsiCo, has, from time to time, rolled out rather odd innovations in the soda universe only to have them miserably fail in due time.

Needless to say that the cinnamon-flavored 7-Up Gold tanked in mere months. How 'bout the berry-flavored 'Josta'? Remember that one? Neither do I.

Then there were Pepsi's two failed attempts at mixing cola and coffee - Pepsi Kona & Pepsi A.M. These, too, were short-lived for reasons which are easily imagined.

All told, Pepsi has a hideous record of standing behind its new but less-profitable soda ventures. Unlike Coke, they are more Stalin-esque in their decision-making. Personally, i am a Coke guy but am polishing off a case of Pepsi due to the fact that it was on sale. Still, Coke is my fave.

1 comment:

Karlo said...

Hilarious. Of course, I don't even like standard Pepsi.