Though specific details remain cloudy, all signs are pointing to a return of Crystal Pepsi, PepsiCo’s 90s-era clear and caffeine-free soda.
Rumors surrounding a Crystal Pepsi comeback first surfaced in 2014, when the Coca-Cola Company resurrected it owns nineties cult classic Surge. But chatter really picked up in April, when professional competitive eater and YouTube personality Kevin “L.A. Beast” Strahle took it upon himself to lead a “Bring Back Crystal Pepsi” campaign, garnering over 34,000 signatures in a petition on Change.org.
Earlier this week, Strahle posted a correspondence from PepsiCo thanking him for his enthusiasm and love for the product, ending its communication with “We definitely hear you and your followers and we think you’ll all be happy with what’s in store.”
PepsiCo has been re-working its soda offerings of late, also announcing that it was introducing a sugar-sweetened product called Stubborn Soda. In the past, it has played with “throwback” versions of products like Mountain Dew, as well.
Meanwhile, clear sodas are on the rise; Zevia, the fast-growing zero-calorie brand that pioneered the stevia-sweetened soda category, recently announced that it would be removing all coloring from its line of products.
A PepsiCo spokeswoman confirmed the authenticity of the message to Strahle to Ad Age but declined to elaborate on the company’s plans beyond saying “we think Crystal Pepsi fans are going to be happy with what we have planned.”
Next week, Strahle will be driving to the company’s headquarters in Purchase, New York in a mobile billboard to further his cause, though it appears he may have already won his battle.
Crystal Pepsi was introduced in 1992, positioned as a healthier alternative to colored and caffeinated colas. The product performed well upon its launch, seizing a full percentage point of soft drinks sales in the United States, however it’s success was short lived and by the Fall of 1993 the company pulled Crystal Pepsi off the market.