Like Peter Allen says, everything old is new again. We’ve seen nearly every aspect of the Nineties return at a time when we should want to enjoy the coming of the new Twenties, whether it be Furby or Sailor Moon. Now Crystal Pepsi is making a comeback, because Powerade clearly isn’t getting the job done for them.
What is Crystal Pepsi, anyway? Well, it’s clear Pepsi… but that’s on purpose. The soda giant intended to cash in on the “clarity” fad of the early ’90s (remember clear soap?) and came up with this gem. It’s basically Sprite, but it’s not Sprite… just like how “Ice, Ice, Baby” uses the same rhythm as “Under Pressure,” but it doesn’t… if you ask Vanilla Ice, anyway.
Surprisingly enough, initial sales were pretty decent, but within a few months the fad ended and sales plummeted. At one point it was turned into a citrus drink, much like Sprite, but it was to no avail. There is speculation that the whole thing was a marketing ploy to make billions by re-releasing the old flavor, or maybe I’m thinking of New Coke. It’s hard to keep up with this stuff.
As of now, the clear drink will be around for a “very limited time only,” but can be found within various supermarkets and convenience stories including Acme or the Florida-based chain Publix — the latter of which reportedly sells the stuff for 99¢. If this seems like a bit of déjà vu it’s because it kind of is. You might remember that Crystal Pepsi made a comeback last year and there have been other limited runs, so if you forgot to snag a can any of those other times then you’re in luck.
The original drink was billed as something of a healthy alternative to regular Pepsi, and was marketed as having no caffeine. However, the new soda has about the same amount of calories as a normal bottle of Pepsi, and also contains caffeine, so there goes that “healthy alternative.” Whether Pepsi is being honest with us this time around or is just not kidding themselves about being a soda product is beyond me.
I couldn’t find a good quality video of the original commercials, which had Van Halen in them, so enjoy the following video of Nancy Sinatra singing the praises of Royal Crown Cola. ‘Tis a bit off-topic, but it sure has a mad, mad taste… whatever that means.