In the good old days we had two main competitors Coca-Cola and Pepsi Cola and a few other choices outside of colas such as 7UP, Mountain Dew, Orange Crush, cream sodas, ginger ales and root beers. Nowadays the market for carbonated beverages is huge. You walk into a 7 Eleven and there's an entire wall of refrigerated beverages.
So due to the increase in competition the cola guys are trying various new flavours. Coke has added a lemon to it's Diet Coke and in the spring they introduced Vanilla Coke which has been doing rather well. Pepsi has had their Pepsi Twist (they added a twist of lemon) out for a year or so and as of this summer they introduced Pepsi Blue.
According to their website Pepsi Blue is "a whole new beverage experience – a fusion of berry and cola that looks and tastes unlike anything else on the market." Yeah, I'll say. First of all it's this un-natural blue colour and yes it definitely doesn't taste like anything natural either. I would however give it thumbs up on its smell. It's quite aromatic not unlike Christmas potpourri and even after the pop is gone the scent remains.
Mountain Dew has had success with their cherry flavoured Code Red and 7UP has a new tropical taste. So with all the competition going after new consumers with their new flavours it was bound to happen that the folks at Dr. Pepper would commit the unthinkable and after 117 years mess with perfection.
Introducing Dr. Pepper's Red Fusion. Sporting an alluring red colour and using a variety of fruit flavors, including the basic flavour profile of Dr Pepper Red Fusion is a unique smoother tasting drink. I would have named it Dr. Pepper Light not that it tastes like a diet drink (Diet Dr. Pepper rocks by the way) but because it doesn't have the same kick that the original Dr. has. I haven't seen Red Fusion in Canada yet and so the 2-litre bottle I downed was purchased in the states. I liked it and gave the new Pepper an 8 out of ten but until Red Fusion comes to the Great White North I'll be drinking the original nectar of the gods... the original Dr. Pepper.
Having just returned from a quick trip to Point Roberts U.S.A. I also purchased a six pack of Mr.Pibb and after partaking of the "prince of beverages" (Dr. Pepper is still the king) I noticed MP's slogan was "Put it in your head!" How does one go about doing that? Do you try pouring it down your ear canal? Up ones nose? Why would you waste a perfectly good beverage to do that? Does it enhance the flavour if you can get it in there? Does it grow hair on your head, or awaken a once dormant sense that we didn't know existed? My attempts to "put it in my head" left me with an earache, a sore throat from coughing and choking, and a sore and runny nose from the bubbles, and an overall sticky feeling. It sure didn't inspire me to buy some more. Hey, whoever the marketing genius was behind this ad slogan needs to put something in his head ... a brain, and if I ever meet him I'm going to put my foot in his head. Maybe it's a good thing we can't get it in Canada, it's this sort of thing that could get this country in an uproar.
Yes times and tastes are changing and therefore we have changes in what we drink but it's nice to see that somethings never go out of style. So in conclusion join me in a toast by raising a glass of the oldest soft drink in North America and say "To the good Doctor, may he be around for another 117 years." Cheers.