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Crystal Pepsi
Crystal Pepsi Logo.png
The official Crystal Pepsi logo.
Description
Flavor: Cola
Color: Clear      
Details
Current Status: United States, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom, Australia, Europe: Discontinued

Canada: Current Flavor

Locations Available: United States
Canada
Germany
Spain
United Kingdom
Australia
Europe
Year(s) Available: United States: Early 1992 - Early 1994, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
Canada: Early 1992 - Early 1994, 2016, 2017, 2019
Germany: 1996
Spain: 1994
United Kingdom: ????
Australia: ????
Europe: ????
Related Flavors: Pepsi
Pepsi Made with Real Sugar
Coca-Cola Clear
Crystal From Pepsi
Pepsi Clear
Similar Flavors: N/A (No similar flavors to match with)
Related Promotions: 2015 Pepsi Pass Sweepstakes Promotion
Gallery

Crystal Pepsi is a Pepsi cola flavor that was first test-marketed in early 1992 in 5 cities such as Denver, Sacramento, Dallas, Providence, and Grand Rapids. After the test-market release, it proved to be successful which leads PepsiCo to release Crystal Pepsi in December 1992 nationwide. By early 1994, Crystal Pepsi was discontinued due to low sales and later reformulated and renamed to Crystal From Pepsi. In 2015, there was a demand to bring back Crystal Pepsi which sparked PepsiCo to release Crystal Pepsi but only for a limited time from 2015 to 2018 on various dates.

Description[]

Crystal Pepsi is a variant of Pepsi which is clear in color, similar to Tab Clear. Its flavor is identical to Pepsi-Cola Made with Real Sugar.

History[]

In the early 1990s, a marketing fad called the Clear Craze equated clarity with purity. This began with the remake of Ivory soap, whose marketing slogan had already been "99 and 44/100 percent pure", from its classic milky solution. The idea of a clear cola was not unique to Pepsi though, and other versions predate Crystal Pepsi. Crystal Pepsi was marketed as a caffeine-free "clear alternative" to normal colas. Its marketing slogan was "You've never seen a taste like this".

On April 13, 1992, PepsiCo introduced Crystal Pepsi to test markets in Denver, Sacramento, Dallas, Providence, and Grand Rapids, and the product generated a positive response. Pleased with the results, PepsiCo began to sell the cola nationwide in December of that year.

In its first year, Crystal Pepsi captured a full percentage point of U.S. soft drink sales, approximately $474 million. Coca-Cola followed suit by launching Tab Clear on December 14, 1992. That company's previous clear cola had been a secret one-off made as a particular political favor between Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Soviet Union in the 1940s, to disguise the American beverage as vodka, and was named White Coke.

By late 1993, Pepsi pulled the drink off the market, and the final batches were delivered to retailers during the first few months of 1994. Pepsi returned several months later with a reformulated citrus-cola hybrid called Crystal From Pepsi, but that was short-lived as well.

According to Coca-Cola's chief marketing officer, Sergio Zyman, Tab Clear was an intentionally "kamikaze" effort to create an unpopular beverage that was positioned as an analogue of Crystal Pepsi in order to "kill both in the process". The "born to die" strategy included using the poor-performing Tab brand rather than Coke, labeling the product as a "sugar free" diet drink to confuse consumers into thinking Crystal Pepsi had no sugar, and marketing the product as if it were "medicinal". Zyman said "Pepsi spent an enormous amount of money on the brand and, regardless, we killed it. Both of them were dead within six months."

In September 2014, following a Facebook campaign by consumers, The Coca-Cola Company reintroduced the soft drink Surge, leading to speculation in the public and amongst media about the return of Crystal Pepsi.

In March 2015, an online campaign to bring back Crystal Pepsi began. The following month, a second and completely separate petition was led by an online competitive eating personality, Kevin Strahle, also known as The L.A. Beast, who made a 2013 viral video of himself drinking a 1990s vintage bottle of Crystal Pepsi. This generated enough interest for a telephone and email campaign, garnering around 37,000 Change.org petition signatures, tens of thousands of Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram tagged comments, 15 billboards erected around the Los Angeles area, and a commitment to ride a mobile billboard truck at Pepsi's headquarters in Purchase, New York with a gathering of supporters at a park nearby on June 15 and 16, 2015. The interest from this campaign led to an official response by PepsiCo. on June 8, 2015: "We've had customers ask us to bring back their favorite products before, but never with your level of enthusiasm and humor. We're lucky to have a Pepsi superfan like you on our side. We definitely hear you and your followers and we think you'll all be happy with what's in store. Stay tuned."

In November 2015, Pepsi hinted on its Twitter page that the beverage would make a comeback. In December 2015, Pepsi announced that fans of the drink could win one of 13,000 six-packs of the beverage by entering a sweepstake via a mobile application or online at Pepsipass.com between December 10 and 11. Winners selected during the following week would receive the beverage in time for Christmas.

On June 30, 2016, Pepsi announced that the drink would be making a second return, reaching Canadian stores on July 11, and American stores on August 8, 2016. Unlike the original release in the 1990s, the drink as released in 2015 and 2016 contains caffeine and sodium benzoate, a preservative.

In October 2016, Pepsi rereleased the drink in the United States again for a limited time exclusively on Amazon.com through its Prime Pantry service, sold in 8 packs. On November 1, 2016, Pepsi announced that the drink would be making the third return for 2017. On July 19, People magazine released an article stating that Crystal Pepsi would be back for what was claimed as being the final time the drink would be rereleased, on August 14, and that Crystal Pepsi-themed music festivals would be held at baseball stadiums around the US with performers Busta Rhymes and Salt-n-Pepa.

The drink was re-released in August 2018, once again being claimed as being the "last chance" to purchase the drink. Unlike previous re-releases that occurred in both the United States and Canada, the 2018 re-release was exclusive to the United States.

In March 2019, the drink was re-released in Canadian stores for a limited time.

Pepsi Clear[]

In 2005, a new clear Pepsi was sold in Mexico as Pepsi Clear for a limited time. On August 22, 2008, PepsiCo filed for trademarks on the product names "Pepsi Clear" and "Diet Pepsi Clear".

Marketing[]

A large marketing campaign was launched, for which the company invented the world's first photo-realistic, computer-generated bus wrap printing. A series of television advertisements featuring Van Halen's hit song "Right Now" premiered on national television on January 31, 1993, during Super Bowl XXVII. This commercial was parodied by Saturday Night Live with its "Crystal Gravy" commercial. Full-sized sample bottles were distributed with the Sunday paper deliveries such as the Boston Globe in Massachusetts.

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