Love it or leave it, Mountain Dew is another popular carbonated soft drink that flies under the banner of Pepsico. It may not be as old as Coke, but it certainly has its cult following. The original drink may have been invented as a mixer for Bourbon Whisky, but over the years Mountain Dew has become a mainstream favorite in the soft drink world and their innovative flavors are part of the reason. Here are 10 Mountain Dew Flavors That Changed The Game.
10. Original Citrus Mountain Dew
Where better to start than with the original, and some consider still the best, flavor of Mountain Dew. Going back to the early 1940s, Tennessee beverage bottlers Barney and Ally Hartman wanted to create a drink that would mix well with their beloved Bourbon. Giving it a tongue in cheek name, Mountain Dew, which was slang for Moonshine, the drink soon became popular as an alcoholic mixer. Interestingly enough, the brothers actually wanted a more Orange flavor as they thought that would suit their needs more. However, the Orange Crush company that they worked for at the time went bust so the duo headed in a different citrus direction. It would take a few years before the public took Mountain Due seriously, but when they did, they really fell in love with it. So much so that it soon caught the eye of PepsiCo and the rest, as they say, is history. There may be hundreds of flavors on the market today, but the original Mountain Dew flavor is still considered one of the best by the fans. Also, as it was the first, it definitely deserves its place on our list of game-changing flavors.
9. Mountain Dew Red & Code Red
Mountain Dew Red was the third flavor to come out of the Mountain Dew Company in 1988, after the launch of Diet- Mountain Dew, but it was sold only in Alabama. Unfortunately, due to its medicinal cherry tasting flavor and its lack of popularity, it was discontinued the same year. Three years later it was replaced by a better-tasting berry-flavored Mountain Dew called Code Red. It proved to be more successful, increasing sales by 6 % in the first year. As the name suggests it is red in color and is berry flavored, better tasting and a real thirst quencher than it’s predecessor. The product line continues to do well and is distributed nationally, it has also expanded into specialty markets and can be found at the likes of Taco Bell; which blends in with their spicy fiery foods. In Canada it proved not to be so successful, it was called Code Rouge and was featured with other Mountain Dew brand flavors, it was discontinued in May 2019. Code Red was released as a limited edition in many countries across the globe and it has shown real staying power as it’s ranked third on the list of most preferred Mountain Dew drinks; just behind Voltage and Baja Blast. Similar Mountain Dew drinks in the line of Code Red are AMP GAME FUEL energy drinks which were created for the gamer generation and which come in four flavors such as Charged Cherry Burst, Charged Berry Blast and more.
8. Christmas Holiday Brews
In November 2017, Mountain Dew brought us the Holiday Brew. Mixing together Regular Dew and Code Red, it was a combination between the original citrus flavors and the cherry flavor. The new drink was leaked on YouTube during a product review in which Mountain Dew products could be seen in the background on one of the shelves. Was this intentional or by accident? We shall never know. The flavor, which was finally released in stores on November 6th, was only sold as a limited edition for a nine-week period during the holidays. It was discontinued at the end of the holiday season in 2017 after it’s limited run. The following year the flavor was replaced by a new drink called “The Merry Mash-Up” . This was the second time Mountain Dew mixed two flavors to create a whole new drink, this one was also in limited release. ‘The Merry Mash-Up’ was similar in color to the ‘Holiday Brew, but this time Mountain Dew tried a different concoction of flavors. Pomegranate and cranberry, what could be more festive? These two new flavors have never been done before by Mountain Dew and what better place to start than the Christmas period. Due for official release in November 2019, we’ll just have to wait and see if the ‘Merry Mash-Up’ will be a Christmas number one.
In 2007 Mountain Dew began the first of several big promotions that would go on to change everything. The first was called Dewmocracy 1, followed closely by Dewmocracy 2 in 2009. It involved the public choosing new flavors, colors and names for their new beverages. The public even had a say in the packaging, graphics, and advertising for the new drinks. Mountain Dew was given recognition in the industry as one of the first and longest-running examples of a company using crowdsourcing and the internet to make decisions. Conducted via an online game and through ads that featured Forest Whitaker, they asked consumers to decide on the next new flavor. Voters chose three brands; Voltage – a raspberry/citrus, Supernova – strawberry/melon and Revolution – a berry flavor. Voltage was the winning flavor and was released in December 2008. To this day Voltage remains the top preferred Mountain Dew flavor by far. With its bright blue color and fresh berry taste, Voltage also includes ginseng for that extra kick of energy. In New Zealand it is actually called “Electro Shock”, in Honduras it is called “Xtreme”. Gotta love those names!. Diet Voltage was created in 2011, with Diet Supernova released for the FanDEWmonium campaign but unfortunately all for a limited time only. As for Voltage, whenever something has that fresh flavor of blue raspberry, its popularity is pretty much guaranteed and a favorite choice across the board.
It was during the Dewmocracy 2 campaign in 2009 that Mountain Dew introduced another three new drinks; White Out, Distortion and Typhoon. The difference between this campaign and the previous one was the wider range of online voting methods used. This time Mountain Dew went all out and included Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and a private online forum of die-hard Dew fans called the “Dew Lab Community”. Starting out with seven flavors, the public had to choose just three. The three new flavors that won out were Distortion – a key lime flavor, (which has since been discontinued,) Typhoon – a tropical punch flavor and White Out – a smooth-citrus flavored soda. Released in October 2010 White Out was announced the winner. Typhoon should have been kept alive as well, but people are not feeling too fruity these days. If the Armageddon came in the form of tangy, delicious, and satisfying drinks, it should have come from this trio. All three are a tidal wave of flavor. Typhoon tasted tropical, fruity and was pinkish-orange in color, it had a kick but did not make a big impact. In July 2011, Mountain Dew Typhoon was re-released briefly in a 2-liter bottle and sold at WalMart, but it has since been discontinued again and will not be returning any time soon. We all feel the loss of this one.
5. Taco Bell’s Mountain Dew Baja Blast
After a lot of research, and a lot of money, Mountain Dew developed a drink for Taco Bell that was chemically formulated to complement their food in flavor. The result was the Baja Blast; a light blue-green colored tropical-lime-berry flavored drink. The taste of this popular soft drink reminds us of an ocean of Margaritas, which is no bad thing! Taco Bell was given exclusive rights for a ten-year period to which they were only allowed to sell this special Mountain Dew flavored drink to its clients. The drink is stamped with the Taco Bell logo and has helped increase beverage sales at Taco Bell’s even though soda sales had slumped. By 2014, Mountain Dew began selling its Baja Blast flavor at supermarkets and retail stores across the country. Baja Blast is number two on the list of most favorite Mountain Dew products, just behind Voltage. The reason? Probably because it is insanely different from anything else. Because of its popular success, many other new beverages were introduced at Taco Bell like the Sangrita Blast, a non-alcoholic sangria flavored Mountain Dew, and a Zero Sugar Baja Blast; a diet version of the Baja Blast, minus the calorie and sugar intake for those who can do without the sugar. It is faithful to the original, although there may be some artificial sweetener after taste, but it is smoother than most diet sodas and a lot healthier which is a bonus.
4. Sangrita Blast
As we’ve mentioned on this list, Sangrita Blast was a proverbial favorite and created just for Taco Bell. This drink is the symbiosis of all that is Mexican and a match made in heaven with the infamous taco restaurant. After all, who doesn’t love Sangria with their Tacos? Most of us like our Sangria with alcohol, but this non-alcohol version proved just as popular with customers. Sangrita Blast was exclusive to Taco Bell and released alongside Baja Blast briefly in 2015 for the summer. It actually tastes like a citrus punch, instead of red wine, but we can improvise here. Similar to Mountain Dew Cherry Pomegranate, it was maroon in color and was full of summer, berry flavor. It also went particularly well with Taco Bell’s menu. Following the success of Baja Blast, Mountain Dew Sangrita Blast was introduced with 5 other flavors, one of which was Diet Baja Blast which is now called Baja Blast Zero Sugar. Sangrita Blast was eventually sold in retail stores that summer and they even offered a Freeze version of the drink. They sold the drink for several years until 2017, when it was replaced with Spiked Lemonade at the Taco Bell soda fountains, so it is no longer available. It was tasty while it lasted!
First appearing as a contestant in the Dewmocracy promotion, Mountain Dew Supernova was a Strawberry – Melon flavored drink, with a little more Ginseng for that extra boost. Unfortunately, the Supernova didn’t last long but it did return for a limited time in the “Back by popular DEWmand” promotion with Typhoon and Pitch Black in 2011. Supernova was also part of the Canadian Dewmocracy Campaign in 2013, but it lost again to Voltage. The R & D department at Mountain Dew can be a little screwy, especially when crazy kids are creating and mixing the flavors. Sometimes flavors work and sometimes they don’t. Incidentally, in Finland, the Supernova launched in 2012 but it was different from the US version. The European version of the drink was not only different in coloring but had a completely different flavor combination. Supernova in Finland actually comes closer to the natural flavored coloring and is raspberry flavored with a lemony orange tinge and even more bizarre, the Supernova has become a permanent flavor in Finland, unlike the rest of the world. For a brief period in 2013, Canada offered the Slurpee version of Supernova, since discontinued, but if you are a big fan you are out of luck unless you visit Finland.
2. Pitch Black
First released in 2004, Pitch Black was a limited edition drink purely for Halloween. A year later Mountain Due did revive it briefly and rebranded it as Pitch Black II, a zombie drink with added sour bite. It returned for a short period along with Supernova and Typhoon in 2011, but was short-lived. However, this drink does not want to die; it came back from the grave with the Back by Popular DEWmand campaign to compete against Baja Blast and it won. This flavor is a variant of black grape mixed in with regular citrus Dew. The drink looks completely black, or dark purple in the light, hence the name Pitch Black. It was made a permanent flavor but unfortunately, Pitch-Black products have been discontinued as of this year because of low sales. You may still be able to find them overseas in Asia and Pakistan. In Korea it can be found under the name Wild Black, and if you are lucky in Canada under Alerte Noir. But considering this product has been raised from the dead before, we’re sure it won’t be long until Pitch Black is ‘trick or treating’ once again.
1. Game Fuel
Now we come to a true game-changer. Known with gamers worldwide, Game Fuel changed the whole Mountain Dew scene to make it what it is today. It all started in 2007 after using the term ‘Game Fuel” to describe Mountain Dew drinks to the gaming sub-culture. Mountain Dew introduced a new flavor of citrus cherry with the release of the Xbox 360 game Halo 3, showing promotional artwork and featuring pics of the main character. The same in 2009, when World of Warcraft was released. The first flavor was citrus cherry flavor and the second flavor was a new wild fruit drink. Released again in 2011, but with a new tropical flavor for Call of Duty’s Modern Warfare 3 game, Mountain Dew has cornered the market on gaming drinks. Every subsequently year, with the release of new games or movies, Mountain Dew has been at the forefront of creating new flavors for the gaming world, with special packaging and graphics to boot. They are in limited release till the next best thing comes along and then it starts all over again with new flavors like Berry Lime, Mango Heat, and Arctic Burst. After each promotion ends the Citrus Cherry reverts to its original packaging while the other flavors are permanently removed from shelves and others discontinued. What has remained and is synonymous with the gaming world is the Mountain Dew name and brand of drinks.