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 Regional Sodas (or Pops)

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mayor al

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  • Location: Louisville area, Southern Indiana
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RE: Regional Sodas (or Pops) Wed, 07/16/03 11:43 AM (permalink)
A class project for my college students over the years was an investigation of the 'Soda Wars'. One aspect of the research was for them to check out the demise of a particular product. A couple worthy of note from papers turned in back in the 90's were those who disappeared then returned in a new identity.
1. What killed ( or seriously wounded) TAB... Obviously Diet Coke, but one of the major nails in the coffin was a TV commercial they ran that had a beach scene right out of the movie "10". A beautiful bikini clad woman did a BAYWATCH walk out of the Surf and up the beach, holding a TAB in her right hand which was down at her side (about hip-high). The camera stayed with her as she approached and passed , then it pivoted and 'watched' her walk away. They spent big bucks on the ad and it's national exposure(no pun intended). After, the ratings surveys gave it very high marks in the desired demographic groups...but NO-ONE could identify the product in the commercial..It was clearly visible, but NO-ONE remembered it !!!
Second example, and perhaps more to the point. When Pepsi brought out "SLICE" they had (and still do) many 'flavor's'. One of those was CHERRY COLA SLICE. It was in a yucky black and purple can with small cherries all over it. Well it did not sell as well as the other flavors and eventually Pepsi gave up on it. Taken off the shelves, it then magically appears as WILD CHERRY PEPSI. It is the exact same flavor but in a can with the Pepsi Logo as a support. The result is success in marketing for Pepsi!
What ever happened to the Clear Cola's, It seems that America wants it's colas to be BROWN !!
 
    Oneiron339

    • Total Posts: 2075
    • Joined: 2/13/2002
    • Location: Marietta, GA
    RE: Regional Sodas (or Pops) Wed, 07/16/03 3:04 PM (permalink)
    Al, you're right about Tab. Part of the demise was also brought about by Diet Pepsi knocking market share from Tab. This was about the time of the Pepsi Challenge and Coke was really losing share so they changed Tab to Diet Coke. They also had the problem of not identifying the lack of calories aspect w/ Tab even though they touted it that way. Most calorie conscious people liked the idea of "Diet****" to a product rather than Tab. It also seems regular Coke drinkers thought Tab was a cheaper version of Coke and hated the taste of Tab. It was also about the time of saccharine and its supposed problems. I was doing some work w/ Pepsi in those days, and followed the Cola Wars pretty closely. Coke hates to lose market share and had to make changes. But then they went overboard and changed Coke to New Coke and that hit the fan. Had to change back in a hurry.
     
      Sundancer7

      RE: Regional Sodas (or Pops) Wed, 07/16/03 3:41 PM (permalink)
      I drank TAB in the 70's cause it was the diet drink. It had a bitter after taste and when Coca Cola introduced Diet Coke, I immediately changed. Been there ever since.

      Paul E. Smith
      Knoxville, TN
       
        Lucky Bishop

        • Total Posts: 1049
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        • Location: Allston, MA
        RE: Regional Sodas (or Pops) Wed, 07/16/03 4:06 PM (permalink)
        Tab and Diet Coke were always separate products, oneiron. Tab was always marketed specifically as a low-calorie soft drink, whereas Diet Coke was pitched to drinkers of regular Coke as a beverage that happened to be lower in calories. It's a fine distinction, but it makes sense to marketing types. They also taste VERY different. I can't stomach Tab at all, but I can quite happily drink a Diet Coke if that's what's available.
         
          Howard Baratz

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          RE: Regional Sodas (or Pops) Wed, 07/16/03 4:09 PM (permalink)
          quote:
          Originally posted by vinelady

          My favorite is Ting (grapefruit), it is from jamacia, the draw back to traveling. I am just happy that I finally found a place in the US that carries it.


          By the way, along with being a refreshing soda on its own, Ting is great mixed with rum. A wonderful summer sipper.
           
            Liketoeat

            • Total Posts: 552
            • Joined: 5/26/2003
            • Location: Marvell, AR
            RE: Regional Sodas (or Pops) Wed, 07/16/03 10:13 PM (permalink)
            Guess the closest thing we had in these parts to a regional soda (and one which at its height made it pretty big nationally) was Grapette with its world headquarters in Camden, AR. Enjoyed your recollections re Grapette, Sundancer and Cheesewit, and particularly found intresting the current Grapette website which you referenced, Sundancer. Guess that confirms what I'd read/heard a year or two ago about the return of Grapette. Grapette was always the quality grape soda (when compared with Nu-Grape, Nehi, or any of the other grape sodas), but there no way you could ever convince many people that its quantity (6 oz.) was the same as that of many other soft drinks. Although I may have overlooked it, I didn't see any mention in previous posts of Nesbitt Orange Soda. We always thought of it as the quality orange soda, just as Grapette was the quality grape soda. Nesbitt had many little pieces of orange pulp (real or imitation?) in it, but whatever, it (& its other ingredients) certainlly did the trick of making it at least seem to taste much more like orange juice than any other orange sodas. Does anyone know if Nesbitt still exists?
            I well remember brands such as RC, Nehi, Double Cola, and several others mentioned, but I wonder if any one else had any of these truly local bottlers which sprang up in county seat towns in these parts toward the end of World War II and which continued on for a short time following the war before falling by the wayside with the return of reputable soft drinks. These local bottlers I refer to had no delivery/distribution system; the retailer had to go to the bottling plant to pick them up and return the empties, but you could at least get them when other soft drinks were unavailable or in extremely short supply. Why anyone would ever drink them, I don't know, for they were truly the pinnacle of rotgut, at least in taste, and I fear otherwise. As said, I don't know why anyone would ever drink them, but drink them people did! Guess anything tasted good after a hard day of farmwork, but I'd much rather have had a good drink of water than any of those local bottler soft drinks (which came in cola and fruit flavors, all awful). This topic brings back many memories.
             
              Liketoeat

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              • Location: Marvell, AR
              RE: Regional Sodas (or Pops) Wed, 07/16/03 11:00 PM (permalink)
              Two additional cola questions, tho neither involves regional colas:
              (1) From the past - Why did folks who regularly drank Coca-Cola or Pepsi-Cola always have to have RC Cola to drink when eating a Moon Pie?
              (2) Current day question - Does anyone have available in your locale a lemon flavored Diet Coca-Cola? I had some last summer in Springfield and Branson, MO, and it was great; much better, particularly for summer, than my regular diet Coca-Cola. But I've never seen it sold anywhere else I've been. Just wondered if it was a short term special item, a variety which didn't work out commercially, a product made for a specific market, or what? Did not find any when back in that area last week. Would surely enjoy some this hot humid weather we are now having.
               
                jgleduc

                • Total Posts: 145
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                • Location: Providence, RI
                RE: Regional Sodas (or Pops) Thu, 07/17/03 12:15 AM (permalink)
                quote:
                Current day question - Does anyone have available in your locale a lemon flavored Diet Coca-Cola?


                Lemon Coke, both diet and non, aka "Lemon Pledge Coke", is readily available in these parts (southern New England.) So is the lemon-flavored Pepsi Twist. When it comes to the major sodas I've always been a Pepsi drinker, especially Diet Pepsi, though not their alternate diet soda, Pepsi One. Diet Pepsi's so harsh and nasty, like drinking battery acid - I like it. But I agree that Diet Lemon Coke is pretty good (I can't deal with regular Diet Coke at all.)

                I don't remember when Lemon Coke or Pepsi Twist hit the market exactly, but it was a year or two ago. They both came out around the same time and it was my understanding that both were distributed nationally and for the long-term. But perhaps that has changed.

                JL
                 
                  Lucky Bishop

                  • Total Posts: 1049
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                  • Location: Allston, MA
                  RE: Regional Sodas (or Pops) Thu, 07/17/03 2:15 AM (permalink)
                  At least in Texas when I was a kid, RC Cola was a lot cheaper than Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Perhaps the idea was that you could get an RC Cola and a Moon Pie for the price of a Pepsi or Coke. Or maybe it all has to do with the old NRBQ song "RC Cola and a Moon Pie."
                   
                    Lucky Bishop

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                    RE: Regional Sodas (or Pops) Thu, 07/17/03 2:21 AM (permalink)
                    At least in Texas when I was a kid, RC Cola was a lot cheaper than Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Perhaps the idea was that you could get an RC Cola and a Moon Pie for the price of a Pepsi or Coke. Or maybe it all has to do with the old NRBQ song "RC Cola and a Moon Pie."
                     
                      EliseT

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                      • Joined: 7/11/2001
                      • Location: L.A, CA
                      RE: Regional Sodas (or Pops) Thu, 07/17/03 4:51 AM (permalink)
                      quote:
                      Originally posted by Liketoeat

                      Two additional cola questions, tho neither involves regional colas:

                      (2) Current day question - Does anyone have available in your locale a lemon flavored Diet Coca-Cola? I had some last summer in Springfield and Branson, MO, and it was great; much better, particularly for summer, than my regular diet Coca-Cola. But I've never seen it sold anywhere else I've been. Just wondered if it was a short term special item, a variety which didn't work out commercially, a product made for a specific market, or what? Did not find any when back in that area last week. Would surely enjoy some this hot humid weather we are now having.


                      UGH! That lemon diet coke was awful! I would much rather squeeze a little real lemon in my soda than have that weird chemical taste in there. I remember a lemon diet cola from the 80s (was it Tab?) that was good, so I was excited about the new diet coke, but yuch!
                       
                        Willly

                        • Total Posts: 396
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                        • Location: Westport, CT
                        RE: Regional Sodas (or Pops) Thu, 07/17/03 8:31 AM (permalink)
                        Lemon Diet Coke does taste like Pledge! Our only bottle went right down the sink. I remember in the 70's there was Pepsi Light (sp?) which was half sugar/saccharine and was lemon flavored. From what I recall, and I was a kid, it was good. It had light blue packaging.
                         
                          Liketoeat

                          • Total Posts: 552
                          • Joined: 5/26/2003
                          • Location: Marvell, AR
                          RE: Regional Sodas (or Pops) Thu, 07/17/03 9:26 AM (permalink)
                          Thanks, you guys, for the info. If my taste so differes from that of the majority of folks on the matter of Lemon Diet Coca-Cola, likely it was a commercial failure which explains my never finding it except in that one location last summer (tho jgleduc says it's still available in New England). I've never come across lemon flavored Pepsi Twist but will be on the lookout for it. Though I've never tasted Pledge, if my search fails, maybe the answer is to grab the Pledge can and give a squirt of it into a can of regular Diet Coke. I doubt the lemon diet cola from the 80's which you liked, ElsieT, was any sort of Tab. I can't imagine Tab in any form tasting good. To me, Tab came the closest of any modern drink to tasting like those rotgut World War II local colas I mentioned. But I have run into a few (very few) people who did like Tab. Tastes do differ. As for the RC question, economics wasn't the basis of its choice with a Moon Pie in these parts, as the price of RC was always the same as the price of Pepsi or Coke. Maybe the popularity of this combination did come from the song you mentioined, Lucky Bishop (and with which I'm unfamiliar) or mabye the song sprang from reality of what was happening.
                           
                            mayor al

                            • Total Posts: 15062
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                            • Location: Louisville area, Southern Indiana
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                            RE: Regional Sodas (or Pops) Thu, 07/17/03 9:49 AM (permalink)
                            Like To,
                            Pepsi Twist is in every Walmart. It is another example of a failed product reappearing in new wrapper. It was known as either Pepsi-Free or Pepsi-Lite (I forget which one) twenty years ago, failed and now has reemerged as Twist...the lemony cola.
                            About the pricing on RC. In the convenience stores I notice that R C is positioned with the 'cheaper cola's and other brands (Big Red, Nehi,etc) and priced a bit lower. ie- If Coke/pepsi is 99 cents, the cheaper brands will be 79 cents or so. Also RC is also in the 'impulse bucket' near the register in most convenience stores around here. Again at a discounted price from the Big 2.
                            Another loser (to me) is the New Pepsi Blue...strictly designed for the urban kid market.
                             
                              Liketoeat

                              • Total Posts: 552
                              • Joined: 5/26/2003
                              • Location: Marvell, AR
                              RE: Regional Sodas (or Pops) Thu, 07/17/03 10:19 AM (permalink)
                              Thanks, Mr. Mayor, for the Pepsi Twist - WalMart availability information. As a regular WalMart shopper (unfortunately, but like in so many small towns its about the only place to go; our only major alternative, the local Kroger, is to me even less desirable than WalMart, tho know most people in most locations love it) I'll surely be on the lookout for Pepsi Twist upon my next WalMart visit. I'll also have to be on the lookout for RC and Nehi products. Now that you've mentioned it, I do remember seeing them in convenience stores in some areas, but don't believe they are available anywhere around here.
                               
                                CheeseWit

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                                • Location: West Chester, PA
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                                RE: Regional Sodas (or Pops) Thu, 07/17/03 10:34 AM (permalink)
                                Sales of carbonated beverages have been dropping the past few years. The big two (Coca Cola and Pepsi) have been battling it out in water and sport drinks. And, they have been trying to come up with flavor ideas that will help the carbonated category. So, you have Vanilla Coke, Diet Vanilla Coke, Code Red Mountain Dew, Lemon Pepsi, Diet Lemon Pepsi, fruit flavored Sprite, other colored flavors (Pepsi Blue, other Mountain Dew colors/flavors). I think it shows the beverage companies grasping at straws (no pun intended).
                                 
                                  jgleduc

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                                  • Location: Providence, RI
                                  RE: Regional Sodas (or Pops) Thu, 07/17/03 10:37 AM (permalink)
                                  A lot of people seem to not like Lemon Coke, which obviously has led to the "Lemon Pledge" name. I'd agree that the lemon taste is fake and not nearly as good as sliced lemon in the glass, but I still kind of like it. I'm not sure what the historical relationship is between Pepsi Twist and any predecessor it had, though such a thing wouldn't be surprising. One of my brothers was working for Pepsi while they were developing Twist a few years back - I guess the idea of bottling the lemon/cola combination is just too appealing to go away.

                                  JL
                                   
                                    Liketoeat

                                    • Total Posts: 552
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                                    • Location: Marvell, AR
                                    RE: Regional Sodas (or Pops) Thu, 07/17/03 10:45 AM (permalink)
                                    I've tried the Vanilla Cokes (both regular and diet) which was so sure would be so good, as vanilla is one of my favorite flavors, but somehow, when it was combined with cola, I didn't like the flavor at all. I'd not thought about the new beverage flavors, CheeseWit, but you are right about the proliferation of them. Also makes me think of years ago as a kid with the various flavored soda fountain drinks that waxed and waned in popularity. Believe my favorite of those was a lime fountain Coke.
                                     
                                      CheeseWit

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                                      RE: Regional Sodas (or Pops) Thu, 07/17/03 10:48 AM (permalink)
                                      Liketo, check out the soda fountain thread started a couple days ago and the article that Michael Stern spoke of in epicurious.com
                                       
                                        Liketoeat

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                                        • Location: Marvell, AR
                                        RE: Regional Sodas (or Pops) Thu, 07/17/03 10:56 AM (permalink)
                                        With so many people apparently so disliking the flavor of Lemon Coke, I'm wondering why I thought it was so good those times I had it last summer. Perhaps they were all occasions when I was really hot and tired and when anything would have tasted good. I'd like to try it again to see what my opinion of it would be, but, as said, I don't think it's available anywhere in this area. I am looking forward to trying the Pepsi Twist. Think you are correct, JL, about the lemon/cola combination being inherently appealing. It's just something which seems "should be good". Ties into my long ago love of the lime fountain Cokes.
                                         
                                          Liketoeat

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                                          RE: Regional Sodas (or Pops) Thu, 07/17/03 11:01 AM (permalink)
                                          Thanks, CheeseWit, I will check out the soda fountain thread and article you suggest. Guess I just missed seeing those. Gotta head out fo town for a couple of days now, but will surely hit those as soon as return.
                                           
                                            ocdreamr

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                                            RE: Regional Sodas (or Pops) Thu, 07/17/03 12:55 PM (permalink)
                                            As to the Lemon Coke, unless they have changed it recently it is only in Diet Form, supposed to help cover the after taste in diet colas. It was test marketed in a few areas a while back, Maryland being one of them. I kinda liked it but don't drink it a s regular. It is now a regular product of Coke & should be available everywhere. My regular soda of choice was always Coke (it's the burn don't ya know) Since I have to go the diet route today & I have problems with aspartame I have to limit my use of diet coke. Now use RC's Diet Rite it is made with Splenda instead of aspartame and has no aftertaste as well as no caffeine or sodium.
                                             
                                              EliseT

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                                              • Location: L.A, CA
                                              RE: Regional Sodas (or Pops) Thu, 07/17/03 3:16 PM (permalink)
                                              I think it WAS Pepsi Free! There is a new "fast food" chain here (I think it's called Topz) dedicated to "healthy" fast food...non-fried "fries", etc. What is cool about them, is that next to the soda dispenser are "pumps" (like for butter at the movies) with cherry and vanilla syrups to add to your colas.
                                               
                                                drpep

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                                                • Location: Corning, NY
                                                RE: Regional Sodas (or Pops) Fri, 07/18/03 7:06 PM (permalink)
                                                Pepsi Free was the original name of Caffeine Free Pepsi.
                                                 
                                                  drpep

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                                                  RE: Regional Sodas (or Pops) Fri, 07/18/03 7:09 PM (permalink)
                                                  7-11 has the flavour pumps by the Big Gulp dispensers.
                                                   
                                                    ParadiseMissouri

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                                                    • Joined: 7/18/2003
                                                    • Location: Valley Park, MO
                                                    RE: Regional Sodas (or Pops) Sat, 07/19/03 7:32 AM (permalink)
                                                    Breese, Illinois, (east of St. Louis) has SKI soda. Watch out, you can't drink just one bottle. And the bottles have painted labels.
                                                     
                                                      Mayhaw Man

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                                                      • Location: Abita Springs, LA
                                                      RE: Regional Sodas (or Pops) Sat, 07/19/03 9:19 AM (permalink)
                                                      No one has mentioned Big Shot. You can only get it in New Orleans and there are a ton of flavors. Grapefruit, blue and red cream soda, cola, root beer, etc. They have a great logo, a big guy with a bowler and a cigar in his mouth. The name comes from one of the traditional leaders of the Mardi Gras parade of the "Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club".
                                                       
                                                        Mayhaw Man

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                                                        • Location: Abita Springs, LA
                                                        RE: Regional Sodas (or Pops) Sat, 07/19/03 9:29 AM (permalink)
                                                        RC Cola and the history of it's introduction and success were based on two ideas. At the time it was introduced, most cokes (southern generic for all soft drinks ) came in six and a half ounce bottles. RC came in to the market at a lower price and you got almost twice the serving (12 ounces). You got more bang for your buck if you bought RC and had a little money left over for a delicious moon pie (or roasted peanuts, which really go better with DP). This move forced everyone to start making 12 ounce products. You can make a pretty good argument that this was the first move toward "the supersizing of America". All these overweight people can be traced back to RC. Anyone know a good class action lawyer? I smell a frivolous lawsuit.
                                                         
                                                          ConeyIslandLou

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                                                          • Location: Middletown, NY
                                                          RE: Regional Sodas (or Pops) Sat, 07/19/03 12:01 PM (permalink)
                                                          Anyone here still see Orange Crush around anywhere? We sporadically used to get it..but it has disappeared...nothing like it!
                                                           
                                                            drpep

                                                            • Total Posts: 335
                                                            • Joined: 6/26/2003
                                                            • Location: Corning, NY
                                                            RE: Regional Sodas (or Pops) Sun, 07/20/03 9:18 PM (permalink)
                                                            quote:
                                                            Originally posted by ConeyIslandLou

                                                            Anyone here still see Orange Crush around anywhere? We sporadically used to get it..but it has disappeared...nothing like it!

                                                            Where I live in upstate NY most supermarkets have Crush in cans and 2 liter bottles. Most of the Walmarts I stopped at between NY and Florida in June have Orange, Grape, and Strawberry Crush in 6 pack 12oz bottles.
                                                            Polar Beverages of Worcester, Ma bottles and distributes Crush products over a large part of the Northeast.
                                                             
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