The dream of the 90s is alive with Pepsi | Rock Candy

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The dream of the 90s is alive with Pepsi

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2016 at 9:41 AM

click to enlarge A 2016 bottle of Crystal Pepsi. - MICHAEL ROBERTS
  • Michael Roberts
  • A 2016 bottle of Crystal Pepsi.

"Right now, nature's inventing better stuff than science" read the tag line, as a bold piano motif gave way to the screeching vocals of not-David Lee Roth. The year was 1993, Kurt Cobain was still alive, and Donald Trump had just married Marla Maples. And PepsiCo decided that it was pretty clear what the country was thirsty for: Crystal Pepsi.

Upon its test release in 1992, the clear "healthy" soda received a positive response in Dallas, Sacramento, Denver and Providence. Initial sales in '93 were good, but the "clear" fad was short lived and soon people realized that this was just another soda (although we did get a classic SNL parody from it). But you have to admit that Super Bowl ad was pretty memorable:

By early 1994, Pepsi was shipping out its last batches of Crystal Pepsi. An attempt at reformulation was met with disinterest, and the product disappeared from shelves. Life went on (well, not for Cobain, but you get my meaning). Crystal Pepsi seemed destined to fade away, just a footnote to the history of a simpler time.

With the rise of an internet culture that worships at the altar of nostalgia, though, it isn't much of a surprise that there have been vocal "Bring Back Crystal Pepsi" campaigns for years now. Bottles of the stuff began appearing on eBay, and the click-thirsty geniuses of YouTube were ready with videos of them drinking the aged pop. Matters came to a head in the summer of 2015, when supporters held gatherings near PepsiCo headquarters.

Figuring that if people wanted to part with their hard-earned cash for their sugar water, they'd be happy to let them, PepsiCo executives teased a relaunch of the beverage in early 2016. America took notice (when not arguing over the colors of a certain dress), and the excitement was palpable. Or at least noticeable.

Then, last week, it happened. A buddy of mine posted a picture on Facebook of him holding a brand-spanking-new bottle of Crystal Pepsi. The bottle shape is different than the '92-'93 version, but the logo is almost identical. He mentioned having found it at a local Dollar General, so the next time I found myself near one, I stopped in. Sure enough, there it was. I've since seen it at Kroger.

So how was it? Utterly fine. Decent. Sweet and cold and very much a soda. Did it taste like the old version? I honestly don't remember what the old version tasted like. Everybody says it's just Pepsi without the brown coloring, and it did have that sweet, rather-off flavor of Pepsi. I suppose the thing to do is a blind taste test with this stuff and regular Pepsi to see if there's a difference. Maybe I'll do that this weekend. But probably not.

Now, if Planters would only bring back P.B. Crisps and Cheez Balls...

Tags: , , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Michael Roberts

  • Little Rock Margarita Festival is coming May 4

    Cinco de Mayo. The holiday in which tequila is consumed in the United States in honor of a Mexican holiday that is not as widely celebrated in Mexico.
    • Mar 10, 2017
  • Arkansas Times Recommends: Indian Grocers, nerdcore documentaries, "Pepe the Frog" explainers, Anne Carson and more

    Arkansas Times Recommends is a series in which Times staff members (or whoever happens to be around at the time) highlight things we've been enjoying this week.
    • Oct 21, 2016
  • Arkansas Times Recommends: The Think Edition

    Arkansas Times Recommends is a series in which Times staff members (or whoever happens to be around at the time) highlight things we've been enjoying this week. In anticipation of Arkansas Times' Festival of Ideas this Saturday at the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, we recommend things that make us think.
    • Sep 23, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Arkansas Times Recommends: A Literary Edition

    Arkansas Times Recommends is a series in which Times staff members (or whoever happens to be around at the time) highlight things we've been enjoying this week.
    • Jul 1, 2016
  • Checking in with Hard Pass

    Shayne Gray talks with Mitch Vanhoose and Chad Conder of Hard Pass (formerly Cosby) ahead of the band's album release on July 22.
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • The trailer for Jeff Nichols' 'Loving' looks great

    The latest from Little Rock's Jeff Nichols hits theaters Nov. 4. It's Nichols' telling of the story of Richard and Mildred Loving, whose marriage led to the landmark civil rights case Loving v. Virginia, which ended laws preventing interracial marriage. Ruth Negga's performance as Mildred Loving generated Oscar talk after the film debuted at Cannes.
    • Jul 14, 2016

Most Shared

  • In the margins

    A rediscovered violin concerto brings an oft-forgotten composer into the limelight.
  • Donald Trump is historically unpopular — and not necessarily where you think

    My colleagues John Ray and Jesse Bacon and I estimate, in the first analysis of its kind for the 2018 election season, that the president's waning popularity isn't limited to coastal cities and states. The erosion of his electoral coalition has spread to The Natural State, extending far beyond the college towns and urban centers that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. From El Dorado to Sherwood, Fayetteville to Hot Springs, the president's approval rating is waning.
  • Arkansans join House vote to gut Americans with Disabilities Act

    Despite fierce protests from disabled people, the U.S. House voted today, mostly on party lines, to make it harder to sue businesses for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. Of course Arkansas congressmen were on the wrong side.

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation