Like in Hollywood, the beverage industry is highly competitive and companies debut risky products to try to grab a share of the market. Some of these drinks are blockbusters, but many are duds – and not Milk Duds. Many turn out to be spectacular failures. So let’s take a look at the Top 10 Disgusting Beverage Fails (Part 2.)
10. Snapple Out Of It
Snapple was at the forefront as iced tea was revealed to be a viable competitor in the soft drink market. This premium tea, full of flavorful varieties, developed quite a profile by name alone – “Snapple” – which today almost serves as a stand-in for “iced tea” in some circles. There are some pretty common flavors like lemon and some slightly fancier ones such as Raspberry Tea. Snapple also offers a variety of fruit juices and this is where everything went south. The company decided to inflict us with a product it named Agave Melon Antioxidant Water. Right off the bat, the name itself is too long and almost pretentious, to a certain extent, all while checking off of various “healthy drink” requirements. The problem with this drink is that it’s not very healthy. Turns out that the natural flavoring used in the drink, the agave nectar, was basically just liquid sugar. Yes, sugar is all-natural, but that doesn’t mean it’s a healthy food. Everybody knows sugar is high in calories with little nutritional value. So you probably shouldn’t make a drink touted as a healthy alternative, then load it up with a high-calorie sweetener. It just doesn’t make sense. At this point, a healthy alternative without any sugar should just be water. It is, after all, the best way to stay hydrated!
9. Crystal Frapp
Starbucks is, obviously, a popular coffee chain that sells millions of cups of coffee – hot and iced. But it also sells countless coffee-based drinks such as frappuccinos. The Crystal Ball Frappuccino was supposed to be the next big thing at Starbucks, but unfortunately, the coffee giant couldn’t foresee that this particular beverage was destined to experience a very unfortunate fate. This 2018 offering wasn’t the first drink fired from the Starbucks Frappuccino arsenal, like the colorful Unicorn Frappuccino drink which graced us with its limited-time presence in 2017. Social media helped this sweet coffee drink to go viral around the world to the consternation of many baristas who had to work double time at the coffee machines to concoct this fantasy drink that was all too real. The Crystal Ball Frappuccino, however, was a green glittered drink that for some unexplained reason tasted like a peach. Different colored candy “gems” were supposed to tell customers their future, but apparently, they would just annoy them instead. This drink had a short life span before vanishing into thin air. The gems failed to divine the fate of this Starbucks beverage fail so perhaps the coffee giant will be a little more careful the next time it wants to create a social media-driven product without putting too much thought into it. We don’t know how many more weird concoctions the world of coffee can take before it implodes, but stop putting glitter in our food, please!
8. Twisted Tropicana
We’ve come to expect that a beverage under the Tropicana brand should be somewhat healthy or at the very least, healthier than regular soft drinks. After all, the company is best known for its orange juice, a drink full of vitamins and nutrients. Tropicana’s Fruit Fury Twisters were supposed to be hip and bold, but apparently, weren’t supposed to be very healthy. This product seems like a shortsighted attempt to compete with lesser drinks at the expense of Tropicana’s brand. With a whopping 140 calories per serving and 24 grams of sugar, this is dangerously close to soda territory. Heck, it is in soda territory. This is a flat soda masquerading as a fruit juice-based drink. If you really want to drink your calories like this, you might as well go with a more satisfying choice, like a Coke, instead of a goofy fruit drink. Greed for a bigger piece of the beverage market could be the only explanation for a decision like this. Wonder how much money Tropicana spent or wasted on bringing this ill-conceived beverage to the market only to watch it become a clear cut disgusting beverage fail? Tropicana has been good at selling orange juice and some other products for a pretty long time so hopefully, they’ll just go back to doing that. Who was the market for these drinks supposed to be? Those rebellious, edgy kids who are too cool for orange juice, but not for these Tropicana Fruit Fury Twisters? What gives, Tropicana?
7. SoBe it
Green tea is a healthy beverage full of antioxidants, so when you buy a SoBe tea, that’s what you want. You want it to be a relatively healthy drink. But what were you really buying? A 20 oz bottle of 240 calories and a not so healthy 61 grams of sugar, that’s what you were buying! Tea is healthy, ah, sure, but this is another case where you might as well have bought a soda. At least when you buy a soda, you know what you signed up for when you buy it. SoBe is owned by PepsiCo, so perhaps this explains the reliance on sugar. That’s fine for sodas, but for green tea, not so cool. If you’re trying to get the healthy benefits of green tea, you can easily make your own hot or cold tea for just pennies and only add as much sugar as you want. It really is depressing when a company takes something that’s good for you, ruins it, then tries to market it as a healthy option. It seems we’re not that easy to fool, are we? If SoBe and other drink makers want to play games then so be it – consumers are now wise to their games and have given them a big thumbs down. Shouldn’t we have expected more from SoBe? This has been a successful beverage company with a number of popular drinks so I guess they got a little ahead of their skis with this one – something many companies have done, so we could give them a pass – but careful SoBe, you’re on thin ice.
6. Red Lobsterita?
The title of this item should speak volumes about what exactly went wrong here. Red Lobster is a popular seafood chain that is known for, well, its seafood dishes like lobster and shrimp, but took it upon itself to try to get into the pricey, trendy cocktail game. Instead of landing the big one, however, the restaurant chain ended up with lobster on its face. A Lobsterita, as you might have guessed, is Red Lobster’s version of the margarita so popular at Mexican restaurants. The strawberry version of the drink has about 500 calories with almost 70 grams of sugar. If this drink was a dessert, it would make a little more sense. As if this Lobsterita wasn’t bad enough, the seafood chain also offers a drink called Allota Colada. This drink boasts almost a hundred grams of sugar which easily adds up to nearly 600 calories. Now, this drink isn’t like dessert anymore, it’s the whole meal! These are the kind of beverage fails that happen when restaurants feel like they have to swerve out of their lanes trying to be something they’re not. Red Lobster is a family eatery for seafood lovers. Red Lobster is not a club where 20 somethings go to party, so why pretend like it is? You shouldn’t be drinking your calories in alcohol at Red Lobster anyway. You should be eating the Cheddar Bay Biscuits instead. Way more worth it.
5. Select 55, Then Delete
Beer drinkers are, as a general rule, not complicated: they expect good tasting beer for a decent price. Even with the popularity of fancy microbreweries and the somewhat snubbing of the beer market; beer is still beer. In 2009, along came Budweiser with its Select 55, which the company describes as “the lightest beer in the world, with fewer calories than any other beer option currently available.” Most beer drinkers know that beer isn’t exactly the healthiest option. It doesn’t have fat, but because it’s made from grains, there are carbohydrates, and where there are carbs, there are calories. Budweiser apparently thought it could get around the whole carbs and calories thing and keep the flavor. This just sounds like madness and a violation of the laws of chemistry – or at least a violation of the laws of the brewery. Even if you’re not a beer fan you can probably work out what Budweiser did wrong. People are willing to absorb a few calories – or perhaps more than a few – in exchange for a good tasting beer. A watery, tasteless beer low in calories doesn’t really interest most beer lovers that much. If Budweiser had made this simple calculation, they could have been saved from introducing a disgusting beverage fail. Who thought selling a watery, tasteless beer would be anything other than a fail, anyway?
4. Wake up, Pepsi!
Maybe PepsiCo would like to blame Pepsi A.M. on the 1980s. After all, the 1980s also brought us Cabbage Patch Kids and The Last Star Fighter. Whatever the reason, the soft drink giant decided it wanted to compete with the most popular morning drink in the universe – coffee. Millions of people drink this beverage every day and many of them drink it mostly for the caffeine hit it provides. However, a lot of people really don’t like coffee, but still, need the caffeine. With this in mind, it isn’t a completely crazy idea to market a cola as an alternative, as they’re already pretty up there on the list of popular drinks. Enter Pepsi A.M. This variant of Pepsi was marketed explicitly as a morning drink and had 28% more caffeine than regular Pepsi. The drink was test marketed in several places around the United States, but it didn’t do well with soda drinkers – or coffee drinkers for that matter. The truth is, the folks over at Pepsi should have known that soda drinkers were already enjoying their regular cola in the morning, and it was just enough to get their caffeine fix. If people were already using the company’s product this way, why couldn’t the beverage giant market it in such a way? There would’ve been no need for all this Pepsi A.M. “morning soda” nonsense. In the end, while it may not have been that disgusting, it’s certainly a beverage fail PepsiCo would rather forget about.
We all know that Frito-Lay is a big snack chip manufacturer and most of us have enjoyed the company’s products more than once. Chips are salty, so, naturally, we’d want a cold beverage to go with them like a soda or even maybe….lemonade? This was probably Frito-Lay’s thought process, because they decided to come up with their own line of drinks, including lemonade in 1998. Since PepsiCo owns Frito-Lay, this attempt to break into the soft drink market seemed a little like double-dipping on the company’s part. It looks like Pepsi came up with a way to market Frito-Lay chips and its soft drinks, as a snacking pair. Two birds with one stone, we might say. Associating certain flavors with specific kinds of chips was a great way to sell both items. Like, what would go best with a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos? Perhaps a tall, cold glass of lemonade? Anyway, that’s what the marketing professionals at these companies are paid for so they should be able to figure it out. It’s very possible that a little work and creativity on their part could have avoided this lemonade becoming a bit of a drink joke. It really is a shame that Frito-Lay couldn’t make lemonade work, because it is a very popular drink. It says a lot about Frito-Lay and PepsiCo that they couldn’t make something as simple as lemonade, work.
2. Rocky Mountain H2O
It’s not hard to find water, not even the sparkling kind, at your local convenient store, grocery store, vending machine… it’s literally everywhere. Coors makes good beer and apparently, makes it with good water sourced from the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. Fancy, right? But, it wasn’t good enough to sell beer made from this water, the company had to take it one step further:. It decided it should sell the water too. Unless they were giving a bottle of water to customers for every bottle of beer to encourage proper hydration, it sounds like a pointless and silly idea. The Coors marketing team could have come up with this idea as a fun and helpful promotion, but instead they got greedy and tried to get into the bottled water game – an already saturated segment of the beverage market. Sparkling fresh water is a selling point for Coors beer, but it didn’t seem to be much of a selling point for Coors’ water, because as we all know – water is just water, after all. There isn’t much more to say about it than that. While its true many people spend a lot of money on bottled water, there are so many brand name and off brand name sources of water to choose from. No one was crying out for Coors Sparkling water. Although there is no reason to think this sparkling water was disgusting, it was certainly a pretty glaring and obvious beverage fail. Maybe if this water had been put out by another company, it would have been a different story.
1. Bacon Soda
Yes, bacon soda was a real thing. It actually existed. People might think you’re saying baking soda, the common baking ingredient in cakes and other pastries, but no. It’s a bacon-flavored soda that was actually put on the market for actual sale. The world has officially seen everything. Several soft drink companies manufactured the dubious beverage including the Lester’s and Jones brands. Even if you really like bacon, it’s unclear why anyone would want to drink anything bacon-flavored. This particular flavor feels like one of those novelty flavors sold purely for the publicity. “You think bacon soda is gross? So do we, but here’s a bunch of flavors you might like.” Pretty much any other flavor sounds more appealing than bacon – and that includes dirt. This disgusting beverage fail is right up there with another classic, the gravy-flavored soda. No one would actually want these, but those who do would have a story to tell if they were willing to try them. There are so many good soda flavors like cola, lemon, lime, orange and so on. Why would someone pivot so far from tradition and create something as barbaric as bacon? These are just gimmicks companies try to use to get the attention they apparently can’t get with their regular flavors. Maybe if they’d come out with something like an egg-flavored soda to drink along side, they would have something on their hands, because after all, we all know that breakfast sodas are the next big thing.