Who doesn’t love pairing an ice-cold soda pop with a fantastic meal? Soda pop is excellent by itself, or it’s the perfect accompaniment for everything from fast food to fine dining. Here we’re going to talk about the Top 10 Soda FAILS that are still rocking the soda industry to this day.
10. Hubba Bubba Original Bubble Gum Soda
No childhood is complete without chewing gum. Think back to all the times you snuck gum into your school even when it wasn’t allowed. You sat in class, chewing the gum every so slightly as not to get caught. The risk of getting caught was one of the reasons why you cherished your Hubba Bubba so much. Sure, that stuff tastes good, but everyone loves to live life on the edge. It might not seem so risky now, but it was a big-time thrill to do something you knew was against the rules. If you’re a chewing gum lover from way back when then, you had to be so excited to see Hubba Bubba Original Bubble Gum Soda. You probably didn’t get a single or even a two-liter bottle of the bubble gum flavored soda pop. No, someone like yourself goes straight for the twelve pack. If you did, then you had eleven more cans of soda pop that were hard to get down. Who knew that bubble gum flavored soda would be so weird? The flavor is great when you’re chewing, not so great when you’re guzzling it down in a bubbly beverage.
Josta was an energy drink before such a thing existed. Who knew that people needed something other than coffee to give them a boost? If you were alive back in the ’90s, you probably remember Josta. You might even be one of the few who are trying to convince Pepsi to bring this stuff back. If you’re a part of that group, then you must be nostalgic in your desire to get revved up. The flavor of Josta was unique, and so was the guarana in the drink. Pepsi had the frame of mind to introduce everyone to the world of energy drinks; they didn’t have the right balance of substance and flavor to pull it off. Josta was only on the shelves for a handful of years. It wouldn’t be long until it was an afterthought. Now people don’t have to reminisce about days gone by when they could get liquid energy in a bottle. Every convenience store today is stocked to the gills with energy drinks. You can guzzle down your energy of choice in the form of a little shot or a sugary sweet cold beverage. Josta was the first energy drink brought to the masses, and like with many first loves, it’s hard to get over it. Don’t have a nervous breakdown thinking about how you’ll never savor the flavor of this drink packed with energy. Instead, get a jolt of energy from one of the many other drinks that’s capable of making your heart race through your chest.
Grapefruit. You either love or hate it. No one ever seems to be on the fence when it comes to grapefruit. That’s why it’s surprising that Coca-Cola would come up with a brand of soda pop that tastes like grapefruit. The flavor was spot on when it came to delivering a healthy dose of grapefruit. Maybe that’s why the soda pop didn’t catch on with the masses. It takes a unique palate to be able to tolerate and enjoy anything that tastes like grapefruit. The people who can seem to tolerate such a flavor don’t seem to want it in the form of a sugary drink. None of that comes as a surprise since the people who eat the most grapefruit are hardcore dieters. Those who loved Citra didn’t have to cry a river of tears when it was discontinued. It was rebranded as Fanta Citrus and is still enjoyed by people to this day. If you enjoy sweet medicine tasting drinks, then go get yourself a two-liter bottle of Fanta Citrus. You won’t ever have to worry about anyone stealing your soda pop when they run out of their flavor at your house. No one but you will be able to tolerate the taste of grapefruit enough to drink anything more than a sip or two.
7. Dr. Pepper Red Fusion
Dr. Pepper holds a special place in the hearts of soda lovers. No one can ever accurately describe what Dr. Pepper tastes like. It doesn’t taste like a cola, but it kind of does. It tastes a little creamy, but not like a cream soda. If you consider yourself a lover of Dr. Pepper, then you’re used to all of the stares when a stranger looks into your refrigerator. It’s odd because at the end of the day, the taste of Dr. Pepper isn’t out of the ordinary at all. It tastes like a sweet, bubbly soda pop that’s great by itself or with food. Why did Dr. Pepper Red Fusion fail? Was it because it had a strong cherry backbone along with other fruit flavors? No one knows for sure why it failed. It could have something to do with who regular Dr. Pepper drinkers are. No one who enjoys Dr. Pepper regularly likes to drink typical cola or other flavors. The flavor of Dr. Pepper Red Fusion may have been too far out there for the average Dr. Pepper fan. Dr. Pepper itself has the reputation of an oddity, and that also probably didn’t help it at all. Dr. Pepper Red Fusion lasted less than a year, and it’s one of those drinks that many of you probably didn’t try once
Slice is a surprising failure on this list since it was hugely successful at one point. Pepsi needed something to go up against the highly successful Sprite, and Slice was their choice. Slice, in some ways, was ahead of the game since there was more than only the lemon-lime variety. There were also other fruit flavors of Slice that customers seemed to like. Mandarin Orange was one flavor that stood out since it had a bold flavor that tasted similar to Minute Maid soda. Anyone who loves orange-flavored pop who was alive when these two were in their heyday probably has a favorite. Your favorite probably depends on how sickly sweet you can handle a frothy beverage. It may surprise some to know that Slice was even served up at Taco Bell back in the ’90s. Those days seem like they were many moons ago to those who loved Slice. Some Walmart shoppers might be thinking that they have seen Slice on the shelf lately. Walmart does indeed have a soda called Slice on the shelf; it’s not the same stuff. The brand Slice has been licensed out and is now used by another company. Any Slice products you find at your local Walmart or other store have nothing in common with what people drank in the past other than the name.
5. Crystal Pepsi
Lovers of cola are a breed all of your own. If you have cola flowing in your veins instead of blood, then you know how true these words are. You might have your favorite of Pepsi or Coke, but one thing is for certain, and that is you’d take any cola over no cola. What Pepsi did with their cola was something that made people scratch their heads. How can a cola be clear? Isn’t that like offering up a meatless Slim Jim? It seems far fetched to people today, but back then, it was thought of as revolutionary. A crystal clear cola had the appeal to those who didn’t want any artificial dyes or caffeine. Yes, Crystal Pepsi had no caffeine in it. Crystal Pepsi had a loyal following who felt devastated when it was discontinued. Fast forward to over a decade later, and it was brought back by popular demand. Crystal Pepsi wasn’t made a permanent item on supermarket shelves, but this gave hope to enthusiasts that it might come back again. It wouldn’t be all too surprising if Pepsi decided to bring back Crystal Pepsi a third time. Who knows, it might be a limited run thing that people rush out for. All of that sounds pretty stupid until you realize that’s pretty much how the McRib is. No one knows when McDonald’s is going to unleash the McRib onto the public, but you can rest assured that it will be back. Maybe the same will hold true with Crystal Pepsi if the demand for it exists in the marketplace.
4. Tab Clear
Coca-Cola couldn’t sit idle while Pepsi made out like a bandit with its Crystal Pepsi. The decision was made to compete head-on with a clear drink, and Coca-Cola would do so under the Tab brand. As to why they didn’t produce a clear version of their famous Coke brand is anyone’s guess. Maybe they understood that the clear cola phase was just that, and it wouldn’t last for long. That doesn’t seem like it would stop them as there have been several types of Coke to come out that didn’t last for long. Tab Clear was born out of necessity as a means to compete against Pepsi in a market they felt the brand was lacking in. Tab Clear didn’t last long, and it had one specific difference to Crystal Pepsi, and that is that it had caffeine. Customers who wanted the pick me up of caffeine in cola were sadly disappointed in Crystal Pepsi. Those same customers could give Tab Clear a try to see if it had the boost they were looking for. The writing was on the wall for Tab Clear long before it hit the shelves. Fads like these rarely last long, and they fizzle out fast. The product was a winner, but the concept was anything but.
3. Jolt Cola
Jolt Cola has always had a cult following. Does Jolt Cola taste as good as Coke or Pepsi? Well, the answer to that question depends on who you ask. Some will say that they didn’t drink Jolt because of the flavor. Why did they drink Jolt Cola? It was because of the jolt of caffeine they received from the cola. You see, Jolt Cola has twice the caffeine of other colas. That means it packs the type of punch that those who need a light night pick me up needs. The cult following Jolt Cola built up came during a time when energy drinks didn’t exist. What did you do if you wanted to stay up late to cram for a college exam? You downed pot after pot of coffee or sucked down a few Jolt Colas. It’s still possible to find Jolt Cola on the shelf in some areas out West. The company behind Jolt Cola isn’t what it used to be. They’ve been through some hardships, and time will only tell if they will bounce back. Every Jolt Cola fan hopes that they will be able to go to their favorite gas station or grocery store and buy a twelve-pack of this liquid energy booster. No one knows for sure what will happen since the market is already full of drinks that give out healthy doses of energy. If Jolt Cola wants to survive, it may have to rebrand itself while trying to appeal to a new younger audience.
2. 7-UP Gold
For years upon years, 7-UP has told us they are the uncola. They are the brand of soda pop that is simple and caffeine-free. All of that was thrown out the window with the introduction of 7-UP Gold. Anyone who was around to sample this stuff had to be somewhat dumbfounded by it. Sure, 7-UP Gold had a fantastic flavor. The flavor of 7-UP Gold was created by the good folks over at Dr. Pepper. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that the people behind Dr. Pepper would come up with a taste no one could pinpoint. It wasn’t that the taste was terrible, no one could describe what it tasted like. Again, that’s not surprising since Dr. Pepper is a flavor that most people can’t seem to describe. 7-UP Gold was far too odd than what the average 7-UP drinker was into. The flavor was kind of like cinnamon, and the color was reddish. It wasn’t the clear fizzy liquid that many 7-UP drinkers loved so much about it. The product itself was far too strange, and that might be why it failed. Would 7-UP Gold have worked if it was rebranded under a different name? It’s quite possible that the public would’ve been more receptive of 7-UP Gold if it wasn’t such a different product from what they were used to. We’ll never know since 7-UP Gold was pulled off the shelf and was never reintroduced under a different name.
1. New Coke
New Coke has been called one of the biggest marketing failures of all time. Who knew that changing the formula and flavor of a beloved product would have such an impact? Anyone would’ve known that if they didn’t have their head in the sand. Coke was losing ground to Pepsi, and they wanted to regain its brand with the public. Coca-Cola was in crisis mode since people felt that the brand was for older people. Pepsi was the choice of the new generation, and the advertising wasn’t off with that. However, that doesn’t mean people wanted something different than the Coca-Cola they knew and loved. It wasn’t more than a day or two at the most that Coca-Cola knew they had a disaster on their hands after introducing the world to New Coke. The problem was, customers didn’t have a choice between new and old Coke. They were stuck with the New Coke, and that is when the outrage began. It wasn’t long until Coca-Cola Classic hit the shelves, and the public once again had their favorite cola back. Some think it might have been a marketing stunt by Coke to get people to drink their cola again. Most discontinue this theory immediately, given how Coca-Cola responded to the backlash in a way that genuinely proved their surprise. New Coke may have been a flop, but it proved once and for all that Coca-Cola has a special place in the hearts of its loyal drinkers. You mess with their Coke, and you’ve got serious problems on your hands.