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Tannerman
03-16-2009, 10:52 PM
We've talked about the prospect of Pepsi Natural a lot over the years here in the forums. So it's kinda cool to actually see it become reality. (I did have a nice post all figured out with links to all our previous conversations, but the forum gods saw that it went into the BevNET black hole of moderation probably due to the number of links included... :) )

That said, I thought it might be a good idea to centralize the topic, as it seemed that Natural conversation was getting mixed in rather strongly with Pepsi/Dew Throwback talk.

Anyway, I was able to track Pepsi Natural down at a local Target here in Chicago. It was actually on sale; picked up a 4-Pack for a little over $3. Frankly, I thought it was pretty good, but it's not really Pepsi. It's a different drink entirely, which I'm fine with. Still tasty, though the nutty/licorice scent throws me off quite a bit.


http://www.bevreview.com/wp-content/image_pepsinatural01.jpg (http://www.bevreview.com/2009/03/16/review-pepsi-natural/)

The bottle is a pretty slick design; very smooth, with an embossed Pepsi logo on top. There's also a unique indentation in the lower back portion that I can't figure out. The logos and product information are attached via clear stickers on the front and back.


http://www.bevreview.com/wp-content/image_pepsinatural02.jpg (http://www.bevreview.com/2009/03/16/review-pepsi-natural/)

Overall, I found the flavor very mellow and smooth, not as edgy or rough as regular HFCS Pepsi. The carbonation is dialed down quite a bit, and it did seem less sweet... almost Coke-like.

Anyone else been able to find this/try this yet? What has been your experience?

Tannerman
03-16-2009, 10:53 PM
Here's a look back at previous BevNET forum conversation about Pepsi Raw/Natural: First mention of Pepsi Raw (http://www.bevnet.com/bevboard/bevboard-general/25947-pepsi-raw.html) (October 2006)
Pepsi packaging discussion (http://www.bevnet.com/bevboard/bevboard-general/28218-new-pepsi-packaging.html) (January 2007)
Pepsi in glass bottles (http://www.bevnet.com/bevboard/bevboard-general/30673-there-here-10oz-glass-pepsi-sierra-mist.html) (March 2007)
Is Pepsi Natural/Raw still gonna happen? (http://www.bevnet.com/bevboard/bevboard-general/30951-pepsi-natural-raw-still-gonna-happen.html) (May 2007)

Tannerman
03-16-2009, 10:55 PM
Wrapping up our Pepsi Natural discussion recap: What's the story on Pepsi Natural? (http://www.bevnet.com/bevboard/bevboard-general/31115-does-anyone-know-pepsi-natural-story.html) (June 2007)
Pepsi Retro discussion (http://www.bevnet.com/bevboard/bevboard-general/31699-new-pepsi-retro-mexico.html) (February 2008)
Pepsi Raw discussion (http://www.bevnet.com/bevboard/bevboard-general/31705-pepsi-raw-natural-ingredients-only.html) (February 2008)
Talk about Pepsi Natural's delays (http://www.bevnet.com/bevboard/bevboard-general/31884-pepsi-can-collector-needs-help-please.html#post362073) (April 2008)
Glass bottle of Pepsi Natural spotted (http://www.bevnet.com/bevboard/bevboard-general/32308-pepsi-throwback-mountain-dew-throwback-4.html#post367484) (February 2009)

BottleBoss
03-17-2009, 07:25 AM
It showed up at the Giant Eagle supermarkets in Frederick, Maryland yesterday. I bought on. It is pretty good. The ingredients on the label don't look to be all natural though.

popologist
03-17-2009, 09:14 AM
the packaging is pretty bland. sorta looks like a store brand or something.

haven't tasted it yet (and probably never will), so i can't comment on that.

my prediction is that this will go the same route as other "premium" offerings from coke and pepsi (think "coke blak")... it will probably be discontinued in a year.

Mr Zabe
03-17-2009, 09:57 AM
the packaging is pretty bland. sorta looks like a store brand or something.

haven't tasted it yet (and probably never will), so i can't comment on that.

my prediction is that this will go the same route as other "premium" offerings from coke and pepsi (think "coke blak")... it will probably be discontinued in a year. I agree 100%.

popologist
03-17-2009, 01:13 PM
coke and pepsi should stop teasing us with these "premium sodas" and just give the consumer what they really want... a flagship cola made with sugar cane... at a reasonable price.

all this other stuff just seems like a waste of their time, effort and money.

if they just gave people what they want (instead of giving us what they want), they might actually see an increase in sales. ;)

mcormany
03-17-2009, 02:09 PM
coke and pepsi should stop teasing us with these "premium sodas" and just give the consumer what they really want... a flagship cola made with sugar cane... at a reasonable price.

all this other stuff just seems like a waste of their time, effort and money.

if they just gave people what they want (instead of giving us what they want), they might actually see an increase in sales. ;)

Well said.

mjb13
03-17-2009, 02:32 PM
coke and pepsi should stop teasing us with these "premium sodas" and just give the consumer what they really want... a flagship cola made with sugar cane... at a reasonable price.

all this other stuff just seems like a waste of their time, effort and money.

if they just gave people what they want (instead of giving us what they want), they might actually see an increase in sales. ;)

I have heard the cost differential of using sugar versus HFCS in soda is literally pennies per unit. Does anyone have any hard numbers or facts to back up that statement?

It will be interesting to see if the Pepsi and Mountain Dew Throwbacks will retail at a higher price per unit than the regular HFCS varieties. My guess is they will be the same price seeing how they will be packaged the same as the regular varieties (20 oz PET bottles and 12 pack cans).

As for Pepsi Natural, I agree...It will likely fail miserably and quietly disappear within a year.

mofizz
03-17-2009, 04:36 PM
Sugar does indeed cost only pennies per unit more, but the real problem is a lot of manufacturing sites are not set up for sugar. I think there are only a dozen or so Pepsi plants in the nation that are producing Throwback. I'm sure it cannot be too difficult to convert, but pennies are pennies. If sugar was indeed the cost effective way to market, it would or will be implemented.

Rumor is Throwback will be line priced with regular HFCS Pepsi/Dew. I could see some markets discounting the stuff, as it is a LTO. Popologist in right in my opinion regarding soda companies screwing around with naturals and LTOs that use cane sugar or beet sugar. Hell, the Pepsi/Dew Throwback campaign is driven more by a "feel good retro nostalgia" message rather than "made with real sugar" message. They just don't get it.

popologist
03-17-2009, 08:49 PM
i think what coke and pepsi are afraid of is that consumers will start demanding real sugar instead of HFCS... and they don't want to do that.

part of the reason HFCS is only pennies cheaper now is because corn prices have gone up dramatically because of ethanol (there's simply less corn to be used for HFCS)... but that could change.

also, it's only pennies to us, but how many servings do coke and pepsi sell in the US per day? hundreds of millions? billions? in that case, 2 pennies can become $100 million... per day... and that's a lot of money. lol

does coke have any plans of making a sugar-based version of coke? i'd imagine that they'd have to. i'm surprised we haven't heard anything about it.

lordmadone
03-18-2009, 03:51 PM
Well besides their passover coke I doubt it.

Tannerman
03-24-2009, 10:44 AM
Bumping this topic up to put it back on the radar and keep things organized.

popologist
03-24-2009, 01:09 PM
i don't mean a "natural" version of coke. i just mean a sugar cane version. normally, if one company does something, the other follows suit soon after. :)

Well besides their passover coke I doubt it.

Mr Zabe
03-24-2009, 04:17 PM
i don't mean a "natural" version of coke. i just mean a sugar cane version. normally, if one company does something, the other follows suit soon after. :)
So true. Some times it's like the blind following the blind (said in jest).

chazychaz11
03-25-2009, 03:10 PM
i think what coke and pepsi are afraid of is that consumers will start demanding real sugar instead of HFCS... and they don't want to do that.

part of the reason HFCS is only pennies cheaper now is because corn prices have gone up dramatically because of ethanol (there's simply less corn to be used for HFCS)... but that could change.

also, it's only pennies to us, but how many servings do coke and pepsi sell in the US per day? hundreds of millions? billions? in that case, 2 pennies can become $100 million... per day... and that's a lot of money. lol

does coke have any plans of making a sugar-based version of coke? i'd imagine that they'd have to. i'm surprised we haven't heard anything about it.

If Pepsi started using sugar in its products rather than HFCS I, as well as tons of consumers, would be willing to pay the small price difference per bottle. And just think of how much more money they could make! Right now, I refrain from purchasing any soda with HFCS unless their is no other alternative, like at a restaurant that only serves Pepsi. But if they used cane sugar, beet sugar, and/or regular sugar, I would have no problem buying it on a regular basis. So not only are they making up for the price difference, they're also generating more sales, most likely.

Jim.
03-25-2009, 05:03 PM
If Pepsi started using sugar in its products rather than HFCS I, as well as tons of consumers, would be willing to pay the small price difference per bottle. And just think of how much more money they could make! Right now, I refrain from purchasing any soda with HFCS unless their is no other alternative, like at a restaurant that only serves Pepsi. But if they used cane sugar, beet sugar, and/or regular sugar, I would have no problem buying it on a regular basis. So not only are they making up for the price difference, they're also generating more sales, most likely.
Only people who post on this board care about if a soda has sugar or HFCS. Go ahead, go have a conversation with someone in real life about soda with sugar or HFCS. I guarantee you they don't care.

Mr Zabe
03-25-2009, 06:49 PM
Only people who post on this board care about if a soda has sugar or HFCS. Go ahead, go have a conversation with someone in real life about soda with sugar or HFCS. I guarantee you they don't care. I agree. They do not care because they
most likely have never have enjoyed a good bottle (glass) of Coca Cola sweetened with
cane sugar. For that matter they have not had any cane sugar sweetened soda pop.

Android
03-25-2009, 11:08 PM
I once knew someone who used to work at a Coke bottling plant in the 1980s when Coke changed to HFCS. He said that the change was instantly noticable to everyone there just in how it altered the ambient smell of the place. I don't know if he was yanking my chain or not, but he seemed sincere enough.
-Andy

Jim.
03-26-2009, 03:26 PM
I agree. They do not care because they
most likely have never have enjoyed a good bottle (glass) of Coca Cola sweetened with
cane sugar. For that matter they have not had any cane sugar sweetened soda pop.
No I mean even people like my parents. They probably don't care. Like at all.

Mr Zabe
03-26-2009, 06:31 PM
No I mean even people like my parents. They probably don't care. Like at all. Yeah, so true my Dad enjoys soda pop but he thinks I'm goofy
for getting so crazy over cane sweetened soda pop. LOL To him sweet is sweet. LMAO

mjb1124
03-27-2009, 01:46 AM
I recently brought up the Pepsi and Dew throwbacks to some of my friends, and their reaction was pretty much "um, okay". But as for me, I'll be all over these!

Android
03-27-2009, 05:09 PM
FYI:

In his book about the Cola Wars in the 1980s, Former Pepsi president and later CEO Roger Enrico talked about Pepsi's decision to change to HFCS. There's about 2 or 3 pages in the book about it, actually. What it boiled down to was both Coke and Pepsi transitioned over time, first a mixture of HFCS and sugar then totally switching to HFCS. Coke did it first, starting the process around 1980. Pepsi wouldn't though, because the quality of HFCS at the time messed up the taste too much. Coke's formula apparantly was more forgiving when mixed with corn sludge than Pepsi.... and then-current-Pepsi-CEO Don Kendall could taste the difference, and he wasn't about to mess with the Pepsi "crown jewels" in that manner. However, Pepsi did put pressure on the corn industry to come up with a better product, which apparantly they did. The final blow for Pepsi switching to sugar was the fact that Coke was saving millions of dollars a year by then, by using corn sweetener, money that was going into the marketing side of the Cola Wars, trying to catch up to Pepsi's lead in supermarkets, and putting Pepsi at a big disadvantage. Pepsi stood to gain like $120 million a year in 1983 just by switching to 50% HFCS....

During 1980, Coke went to 50/50% mix HFCS/sugar. In 1983, Pepsi went to a 50/50 mix. At that time, Coke changed their fountain mix from 50/50 to 75/25 corn/sugar. A year later, they went 75/25 in cans/bottles and 100% corn sludge in fountains. That's as far as the book says (book was written in 1986) so I'm not sure when they both went to 100% corn sweetener.

Anyway, I agree that a lot of people probably don't care about the sweetener as long as it's "sweet". But I know that I could definately tell a difference back when I was buying returnables from the last two Pepsi bottlers in the US - Davenport Iowa and Memphis Missouri - the former used sugar and the latter used HFCS. The sugar sweetened stuff was much much better. At the time I don't believe I knew Davenport used sugar, as the caps said "and/or" on them, I only learned that after I joined this board. But I did know there was a decidedly noticable difference in taste.

-Andy