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Lots o’ Soda: Diet Sun Drop

Though this may be on the verge of changing — Dr. Pepper, having owned the brand for a while, is starting to ramp up its marketing and distribution and use it as a competitor of Mountain Dew — but Sun Drop is a valuable lesson in the risks of underselling.  First developed in the ’30s in St. Louis, it developed a loyal following all up and down the Mississippi River, especially in the deep South and Minnesota.  On first gulp, it’s a little lighter and less sweet than Mountain Dew, but with a distinctive flavor that comes from the presence, albeit in minuscule amounts, of orange juice.  It’s also got massive amounts of caffeine — far more than Dew, which is famous for its get-you-hopped-up factor.  Even better for fat slugs like me, the diet version contains even more caf than the regular dose:  the sports-drink abomination known as Vault is the only American soda that has more caffeine content than Diet Sun Drop.  Curiously, neither the jolly ol’ OJ content (and the concomitant bogus claims of healthfulness it would allow them to make) nor the nearly coffee-esque levels of caffeine are used as selling points by the manufacturers.  Instead, they seem to be going for a more or less generic eXXXtreme-soda-eXXXperience, of the sort that could be stuck carelessly onto any citrus soda.  Why they don’t take advantage of not one, but two, fairly unique selling points is beyond me, but hey, I just drink the stuff.  I should give their marketing department free advice?

Mirrored from LEONARD PIERCE DOT COM.

Comments

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minnesattva
Feb. 22nd, 2011 08:16 am (UTC)
Oh man! You've got me really missing Sun Drop now. They had it at the cafe where my grandpa used to take my brother and I to have a donut or a cookie or something (my mom works there now; maybe she can get me one :) ).
schtune
Feb. 22nd, 2011 03:40 pm (UTC)
See, that's weird, because this *just* showed up in our market, and suddenly it's everywhere.

As a fairly rabid Diet Mountain Dew drinker, I gave it a shot and thought it was pretty comparable flavor - diet and regular Dew both have orange juice as the second or third ingredient, but it's not enough to register as a percentage of fruit juice on the lable, unlike Sun Drop.

I guess I thought it was just a little ... citrusier. Like in the direction of Mello Yellow, which just tastes like grapefruit to me, but not that far gone.
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Leonard Pierce is a freelance writer wandering around Texas with no sleep or sense of direction. If you give him money he will write something for you. If you are nice to him he may come to your house and get drunk.

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