When you have been in the market as long as Kool-Aid, you’re bound to have rolled out a lot of flavors. Some of those flavors latch onto the taste buds of the consumers and refuse to let go which ensures a permanent place on the shelves in supermarkets. Others, however, were not that fortunate and soon disappeared. But here we are digging around for those relics and look what we have unearthed.
20. Eerie Orange
Eerie Orange was one of those products that only a few consumers had access to. In this case, it was released only in the Canadian market in 1996. To be fair, it wasn’t a new flavor or anything. It was just a repackaging of an existing flavor. And if you’re wondering as for the reason for this subterfuge, you need only look at the name for a clue. It was Halloween season and kids needed something spooky for some serious trick and treating. Because of its ephemeral nature, Eerie Orange soon vanished into the night never to be heard from again. Sometimes we stay up at night thinking of Eerie Orange and what could have been if it just had managed to survive that fateful Halloween.
19. Pink Swimmingo
When you have a name like Pink Swimmingo, it doesn’t matter what flavor or taste you carry inside the sachet. The name alone brings joy to the drinker. But Pink Swimmingo packs a joyous flavor as well. It tastes like cherry watermelon and the bright cheerful color will make your heart dance. That is if you can get your hands on a box of the colorful drink. Sadly the pink one was available to children in the 1990s and didn’t last long enough to see the glorious new century we live in. But take heart. If you can’t have Pink Swimmingo, the cherry watermelon flavor is still sold today. Not under the same name though.
18. Swirlin’ Strawberry-Starfruit
When you have a cool name like Swirlin’ Strawberry-Starfruit then the flavors in the sachets are supposed to explode on your tongue. Between rainbows and fireworks, your mouth will have a part of it. Unfortunately, the combination of strawberry and star fruit couldn’t quite cut it with the thirsty customers. And after a brief limited release, it was pulled off. These days you need to scour eBay to find a box of the rare flavor.
17. Great Blue-dini
The one thing really going for this Kool-Aid flavor is the fact that it’s unsweetened. So if you’re worried about your children’s daily sugar intake this one will put your mind at ease. But other than that, there’s nothing exceptional about it. The citric base and artificial flavors don’t distinguish this product in any way. The color though is a different story. When you mix the contents of the sachet with water the color will change. You get a combination of yellow and blue which for some reason doesn’t turn into green as one would expect. The new color is perhaps why anyone would want to try this flavor.
This was Kool-Aid’s take on comic books and superheroes of the time. It made its first appearance in the early ‘90s and featured Kool-Aid Man dressed as a superhero looking jacked. And if the name didn’t tip you off, this sachet was all about berries. You can see a blob next to Kool-Aid Man that represents some sort of a berry. That berry dwarfs Kool-Aid Man which implies that the berry flavors are strong in this one. You’d need to add sugar and water to get those flavors out in the open though. It was also strong on vitamin C, so that’s something else going on for it. Unfortunately, neither of those things saved the product from an untimely demise.
15. Oh-Yeah Orange-Pineapple
Another relic from the 1990s. Which makes one almost envious of the kids who grew up in that era. Or maybe they were not easy to satisfy which would explain all the new flavors Kool-Aid had to roll out and test. Now you’re supposed to shout “Oh Yea! Orange Pineapple!” when you took the first sip of the drink. At least that’s what the jovial name suggests. But we’re not really sure that orange and pineapple go together. Which everybody seemed to agree on back then. So naturally, the new flavor didn’t last long on the shelves and soon disappeared from the market.
14. Purplesaurus Rex
Being a company that likes to keep up with the cultural trends, when Kool-Aid saw that dinosaurs were big among kids in the ‘80s this was their response. The flavors here are grape and lemonade. Hardly Jurassic, but what you lack in authenticity, you can make up for it in design. There’s a purple dinosaur eating grapes on the packet which should tell you all you need to know. To be fair, grapes have never been the kind of flavor that drew new customers or appealed to old ones either. And as soon as the Jurassic era was replaced with the next big thing culturally speaking, Purplesaurus Rex went extinct.
13. Strawberry Falls Punch
Like grapes, strawberry is one of those fruits whose natural taste has little to do with the juice that food companies manage to squeeze out of it. If you’re like me and the only way you can eat strawberry is diced and mixed with plain yogurt and honey, you’d understand why strawberry on its own is not the best of flavors. But maybe the ‘80s was a time of experimentation at Kool-Aid or the era was just welcoming and people were open to trying anything new. Who knows. One thing is for sure, though. Strawberry Falls Punch couldn’t deliver and was soon part of the company’s history that nobody liked to talk about.
12. Rock-a-Dile Red
Another flavor that was more about the mascot on the package than about a new and explosive flavor inside it. It’s like when a company tries to cash in on a fad and when the fad fades into obscurity, the company pulls off the product and hopes everyone will forget about it soon. Rock-a-Dile Red is about a couple of mascots that were supposed to be sidekicks to the main character Kool-Aid Man. The sidekicks were flashy but didn’t have the drawing power of the dashing superstar. The red in the name however referred to the berries, grapes, and cherries that came together to create a cool flavor.
One thing about Kool-Aid is that it’s more than just a fruity drink. You can just about do anything you like with that small sachet of powder. People die their hair with the bright hues of Kool-Aid. Which probably explains why this specific flavor is quite popular. But not to make a pitcher of a cold fruit juice, rather make dessert. If you like to make snow cones, Tamarindo will make the perfect syrup for your dessert. But that doesn’t mean that some consumers don’t prefer it as a juice. It’s still popular and people rave about the green color and the exquisite flavor.
10. Surfin’ Berry Punch
The last time Surfin’ Berry Punch was seen cresting that high wave was in the early 1990s. It was in 1987 when the not-so-famous surfer made its debut. Almost immediately it climbed the steep pinnacles of success. Maybe it was the flavor of wild berries that swept people off their feet and splashed their faces with the cool spray of the ocean. Or maybe it was something else. What is known is that by the end of the year Surfin’ Berry Punch was no longer the favorite flavor that Kool-Aid fans were raving about. Even the purple powder that turned red once it hit the water had failed to capture a permanent place in people’s hearts.
9. Arctic Green Apple
This one was so popular that when it disappeared from the market, people launched many campaigns to bring it back. Which is not so uncommon among food products that for some reason or another get discontinued. And even for years after the product was no longer available in stores, you could still buy it online. This has to do with the long shelf-life of Kool-Aid. Anyone who has a few boxes of the product will store them and wait for the price to go up once they become rare. And reading the online reviews and how people missed the flavor, makes one question the logic behind Kraft pulling the popular flavor off the market.
People feel so strongly about this one that there are Facebook campaigns to bring it back. Sadly the only place you can find it now is on eBay. Rare boxes of Man-o-Mangoberry sell for top dollar. Now it’s not clear if those who buy them would drink them or not. Most likely they’re collectibles and even after the powder has expired, its proud owners would still display it proudly as one of their most valuable possessions.
7. Rainbow Punch
A popular flavor from the mid-’80s. In fact, this one is so popular these days it’s not hard to find a package on eBay. It belongs to the “Punch” family of Kool-Aid and collectors fancy these flavors. And it’s not just the flavors of the family that still bring a strong tone of nostalgia whenever the name is mentioned. The design of the packages is also a throwback to an era before digital media and Photoshop took over. It’s probably the same reason early editions of comic books fetch high prices among collectors. But whatever the motivation behind their popularity, if you can get your hands on this popular flavor, treasure it.
6. Solar Strawberry-Starfruit
See that star fruit on the package? It’s the star of this show. The theme of this flavor is space travel and it has a futuristic design about it that makes it a favorite among fans. It’s not clear how much the star fruit added to the taste here. But we’re guessing it didn’t go well with strawberry. In either case, it only made a brief appearance before it was blasted off to the archives. Not many people remember it today and there are no campaigns to bring it back. Yet fans of the Kool-Aid and its short-lived products collect this one like baseball cards in bygone times.
5. Golden Nectar
As soon as you see the word nectar on the package you know this must be a unique flavor. It’s not clear what went into this one anyway. It dates back to the 1950s. So as far as the oldie but goldie is concerned this one takes the cake. Just look at the design here and the excited children running to have a taste. Takes you back to a simpler time when stick figures were all the graphic design you needed to sell your product.
4. Scary Black Cherry & Scary Blackberry
It seems that every Halloween, Kool-Aid would dish out a limited edition of a scary flavor that’s actually a repackaging of an already existent flavor. But it seemed to sell well and the customers didn’t mind. And there was something about black cherry that made it appeal to both children and grownups around this time of year. Of course, these flavors are still around under different names. But how exactly did they taste back then is anyone’s guess. I don’t think that even getting one on eBay would help solve this mystery. It’s way past its expiration date anyway.
Hibiscus is a vibrant flower. It has a tangy taste that is easy to distinguish. But the bright color it produces when you mix it with water makes Jamaica one of the most sought after flavors. As we mentioned before you can do a lot with the right sachet of Kool-Aid. And this one is one of the most versatile packets you can get your hands on. It’s even advertised as a product that you can use to just about anything you can think of. That bright red color is just as good in coloring food as it is in creating the right highlights in your hair.
2. Sharkleberry Fin
We’re not really sure what is going on here. Is that a shark? And is the pitcher riding the shark? We know there are berries in there somewhere but what’s with the fin? So many questions and so few answers. Yet this classic flavor has been around for decades. It must be doing something right because people it seems can’t get enough of those berries. As for the design which has remained basically the same since its inception, it just implies that the flavor will give you the same sensations as riding a shark in the open ocean. Which at some point was probably the pinnacle of adventure. Not that we’re judging or anything.
1. Root Beer
People say you can’t go wrong with root beer. I’m not a fan so every time I hear that I try hard not to make a face. Kool-Aid root beer is not a very popular flavor nor does it have the most fans. But it’s just there. In case someone likes root beer and decides they’d rather have an inexpensive flavored sachet instead of getting the real thing in a bottle as most people would do.