Pepsi's Bringing Back Crystal Pepsi Probably Because Sales Are Clearly at an All-Time Low
Crystal Pepsi is returning to the world for the first time in... one year.
The translucent soda, which made its first debut in 1992, will hit shelves stateside on August 8, 2016 at major retailers nationwide, according to a press release. (Canadians will get their taste a few weeks prior — how aboot that?)
For those unfamiliar: Crystal Pepsi is Pepsi that is clear.
The news might quench the thirst of those who live for '90s nostalgia, except the same product stepped out of the vault in December 2015 for a limited time, which makes the big announcement a little less exciting. Adding to that, the product's first run on shelves lasted only one year — from 1992 to 1993, making the fact that it was a total flop its claim to fame. Weird marketing, no?
PepsiCo is coupling the return of the '90s cult-classic soda with the release of The Crystal Pepsi Trail, a web-based game that riffs off arguably the best computer game of all time: The Oregon Trail. Those interested can play the game on the Crystal Pepsi website starting July 7. Hopefully participation, or drinking the clear soda, won't lead to any snake bites or cases of dysentery.
Why is this happening?
No one can really ever know for sure, but another recent move by Pepsi may serve as a clue: The company recently announced it would be bringing aspartame-sweetened Diet Pepsi back to the market. The announcement came less than a year after making a big deal about swapping the sweetener for sucralose. The Wall Street Journal attributes the move to "plummeting sales and howls of protest from the diet soda's devotees."
It's not a great time for soda in general. Bottled water is expected to outsell the bubbly stuff by 2017, if not sooner, according to Time. Only time will tell whether bringing back a flop of a product and an old artificial sweetener will boost sales.