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12 Discontinued Products From Coca-Cola and Pepsi

You've most likely heard of the grand (and failed) experiments that were New Coke and Crystal Pepsi. But throughout the years, both the Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo have played around with their product lines, resulting in a number of other short-lived, now-discontinued soft drinks. Here are 12 examples. 

1. OK Soda

In 1993, Coca-Cola wanted to capitalize on the growing counterculture movement associated with the cynical members of "Generation X." Marketing executive Sergio Zyman came up with OK Soda, which was a soft drink intended to appeal to the movement’s anti-corporate sensibilities. (Although to this day, some conspiracy theorists believe OK Soda was a plot by the CIA to endear corporate America to Gen Xers, thereby making them more conservative.) OK Soda had its own manifesto and "unconventional" marketing campaign that revolved around the idea that “Things are going to be OK.” The soda company even hired alternative cartoonists Daniel Clowes (Ghost World) and Charles Burns (Black Hole) to design soda cans and commercials for the brand. Sadly, Coca-Cola pulled the plug after sales fell short of expectations in most of its test markets in 1995. Today, OK Soda cans and box art can be found on eBay for about $50 a can.

Fun fact: Sergio Zyman was the same executive who launched New Coke in 1985.   

2. Lemon-Lime Slice

Pepsi introduced Lemon-Lime Slice in an effort to compete with 7-Up and Coca-Cola’s Sprite in 1984. Sales of the original Slice were so strong that Pepsi introduced more flavors and varieties, such as Apple, Fruit Punch, Grape, Passionfruit, Peach Glaze, Mandarin Orange, Pineapple, Strawberry, Cherry Cola, "Red,” Cherry-Lime, and Dr. Slice—Pepsi’s answer to Dr. Pepper. In May 1987 Slice had 3.2% of the soda market, but a little over a year later that dropped to below 2 percent. The problem was it was relatively expensive to produce, and Coca-Cola was able to come out with a competing product (Minute Maid Orange soda) that was cheaper to make and customers simply preferred the taste of. Although some varieties of Slice are available at soda fountains, the original Lemon-Lime Slice was discontinued and replaced with Pepsi’s Sierra Mist in 2003. 

3. Beverly

In 1969, Coca-Cola introduced a carbonated, non-alcoholic apéritif for the Italian market called Beverly. (Apéritifs are generally alcoholic beverages served before a meal in order to stimulate one's appetite.) Beverly remained on shelves throughout the country for 30 years, but was discontinued when the company consolidated its Italian bottling facilities in 2009. Interested in sampling some? The sophisticated soda is available at various World of Coca-Cola museums throughout the United States. A word of warning, however: Americans are generally not used to its bitter taste, so you may not be a fan. (YouTube is full of funny reactions to Beverly soda.)  

4. Mountain Dew Sport

After extensive test marketing in 1989, Pepsi introduced Mountain Dew Sport the following year. The beverage was a Mountain Dew-flavored sports drink with only two calories. Its diet counterpart was available with no calories, but with the same Mountain Dew taste. Pepsi created Mountain Dew Sport to compete with Gatorade, but discontinued it due to low sales in 1991. That same year, the company came back with All Sport, a slightly reformulated version of Mountain Dew Sport, which Pepsi sold throughout the '90s. However, when Pepsi purchased Gatorade in 2001, they made a deal with the FTC that they’d sell off All Sport in an effort to increase competition in the market. They sold it to a small manufacturer, who got bought by Big Red, who made a deal with the Dr Pepper Snapple Group, which relaunched All Sport in 2009. Which means technically, you can still purchase the soda grandchild of Mountain Dew Sport.

5. Coca-Cola C2

At the height of the low-carb diet craze, Coca-Cola brought Coca-Cola C2 to the Japanese, American, and Canadian markets in 2004. The new soft drink boasted half the sugar, calories, and carbohydrates of regular Coca-Cola, and to hawk it, the company launched an aggressive ad campaign with radio and TV spots featuring Queen’s “I Want To Break Free” and The Rolling Stones’ "You Can't Always Get What You Want." But after a few years of disappointing sales, Coca-Cola discontinued C2 in 2007. 

6. Pepsi Wild Bunch

During the summer of 1991, Pepsi released three new flavors that it claimed enhanced the taste of its flagship soda. Dubbed Pepsi Wild Bunch, the soft drink attempted to capture the taste of summer with Strawberry Burst, Tropical Chill, and Raging Razzberry. One major downside: Pepsi Wild Bunch came in a three-pack, so if you were craving just one flavor, too bad: you were stuck with two more. The beverage was only made available in a few test markets throughout the United States, until Pepsi discontinued it less than a year later.   

7. Sprite Remix

In 2003, Coca-Cola introduced Sprite Remix to cater to what marketing execs saw as an "emerging" hip-hop and DJ remix subculture. The beverage was similar to regular Sprite, but with an added citrus or fruit kick. Sprite Remix was eventually available in three varieties: Tropical, Berryclear, and Aruba Jam.

Coca-Cola later released a “do-it-yourself” version of Sprite Remix, which featured a flavor packet with a can of regular Sprite. Those flavors included Grape, Vanilla, and Cherry. Sprite Remix was discontinued due to poor sales in 2005. But this year, reports came out that in certain markets, Sprite Tropical—dropping the "Remix," apparently—was back on store shelves in parts of the southeastern U.S.

8. Pepsi Natural

In 2008, Pepsi debuted Pepsi Natural, a soda free of artificial flavoring, colorings, preservatives, and sweeteners. Made with lightly sparkling water, the beverage boasted natural caramel, apple extract, kola nut extract, and natural sugar cane instead of high-fructose corn syrup. Pepsi Natural was even packaged in a sleek 12-ounce glass bottle and was only available in premium grocery stores and natural food aisles. Pepsi Natural, similar to Pepsi Raw in the United Kingdom, was discontinued in 2010, due to—you guessed it—poor sales. 

9. Vault

To compete with Pepsi’s Mountain Dew, Coca-Cola started stocking American grocery stores with Vault (and other Vault varieties) in 2005. Vault was a citrus soda and energy drink hybrid marketed primarily towards teenage boys and young men. In 2006, Vault was a big part of the Super Bowl XL pregame show with a number of TV spots declaring that it “Drinks like a soda, kicks like an energy drink." Coca-Cola also produced Vault Zero, Grape Vault, Peach Vault, and Vault Red Blitz before discontinuing the entire beverage line in 2011. 

10. Diet Pepsi Jazz

Introduced in 2006, Diet Pepsi Jazz was a diet soda available in three different flavors: Black Cherry and French Vanilla, Strawberries and Cream, and Caramel Cream. Pepsi announced that the soft drink was “The New Sound of Cola” in its ad campaign, before discontinuing the jazzy new addition in 2009. 

11. Coca-Cola BlāK

Ever wish your soda tasted more like coffee? For a brief period of time starting in 2006, Coca-Cola made your dream a reality by releasing the coffee-flavored Coca-Cola BlāK. The beverage company worked for two years developing the recipe in the hopes of tapping into the premium coffee market. Coca-Cola officially discontinued Coca-Cola BlāK in 2007, but continued to sell off its remaining stock into the following year.

Pepsi, for its part, sold coffee-flavored sodas Pepsi Kona and Pepsi Cappuccino in a few test markets during the '90s. 

12. Pepsi A.M.

To capitalize on the growing soda-as-coffee-substitute trend in the '80s, Pepsi released Pepsi A.M. in 1989. A soft drink meant to be consumed during breakfast, Pepsi boasted that it featured 28% more caffeine than regular Pepsi (which was still 77% less than coffee). Pepsi A.M. was discontinued due to low sales in 1990. 

The Coca-Cola Company never released a “morning” variety of Coca-Cola, but the soft drink multinational began hawking the idea of soda for breakfast with a “Coca-Cola in the Morning” marketing campaign.

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Ramones Karaoke, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0
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Fake It Until You Make It: 10 Artificial Ruins
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Ramones Karaoke, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

The love of ruins, sometimes called ruinophilia, has for centuries inspired the creation of clever fakes—a host of sham facades and hollowed-out castle shells found on grand English, European, and even American estates. The popularity of constructing artificial ruins was at its peak during the 18th and 19th centuries, but architects occasionally still incorporate them today.

Why build a structure that is already crumbling? Between the 16th and 19th centuries, the popularity of counterfeit ruins was influenced by two factors—a classical education that enforced the ideals of ancient Greece and Rome, and the extended tour of Europe (known as The Grand Tour) that well-to-do young men and women took after completing their education. Travelers might start in London or France and roam as far as the Middle East, but the trip almost always included Italy and a chance to admire Roman ruins. More than a few wealthy travelers returned home longing to duplicate those ruins, either to complement a romantic landscape, to demonstrate wealth, or to provide a pretense of family history for the newly rich.

Here are a few romantic ruins constructed between the 18th and 21st centuries.

1. SHAM CASTLE // BATHAMPTON, ENGLAND

Sham Castle (shown above) is aptly named—it’s only a façade. The "castle," overlooking the English city of Bath, was created in 1762 to improve the view for Ralph Allen, a local entrepreneur and philanthropist as well as to provide jobs for local stonemasons. From a distance it looks like a castle ruin, but it's merely a wall that has two three-story circular turrets and a two-story square tower at either end. The castle is not the only folly (as such purely decorative architecture is often called) that Allen built. He also constructed a sham bridge on Serpentine Lake in what is now Prior Park Landscape Garden—the bridge can't be crossed, but provides a nice focal point for the lake. Today, Sham Castle is part of a private golf course.

2. WIMPOLE FOLLY // CAMBRIDGESHIRE, ENGLAND

Building a structure that looks as if it's crumbling does not preclude having to perform regular maintenance. The four-story Gothic tower known as Wimpole Folly in Wimpole, Cambridgeshire, England, was built 1768-72 for Philip Yorke, first Earl of Hardwicke and owner of the Wimpole Estate. Owned by Britain’s National Trust, the ruin threatened to truly crumble a few years ago, so restoration efforts were needed. The last restoration was so well done it won the 2016 European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage. The Wimpole Estate is now open to the public for walks and hikes.

3. CAPEL MANOR FOLLY // ENFIELD, ENGLAND

Capel Manor at Bulls Cross, Enfield, England has been the site of several grand homes since the estate’s first recorded mention in the 13th century, so visitors might be tempted to believe that the manor house's ruins date back at least a few centuries. But that sense of history is an illusion: The faux 15th-century house was built in 2010 to add visual appeal to the manor gardens, which have been open to the public since the 1920s.

4. ROMAN RUIN // SCHONBRUNN PALACE, VIENNA, AUSTRIA

The Roman Ruin was built as a garden ornament for the 1441-room Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna, one of the most important monuments in Austria. The ruin was once called The Ruins of Carthage, after the ancient North African city defeated by Roman military force. But despite the illusion of antiquity, the ruins were created almost 2000 years after Carthage fell in 146 B.C.E. The ruin’s rectangular pool, framed by an intricate semi-circle arch, was designed in 1778 by the architect Johann Ferdinand Hetzendorf von Hohenberg, who modeled it on the Ancient Roman temple of Vespasian and Titus, which he had seen an engraving of.

5. THE RUINEBERG // POTSDAM, GERMANY

One of the earliest examples of artificial ruins in Germany was the complex of structures known as The Ruinenberg. Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, had a summer palace in Potsdam, near Berlin, that was said to rival Versailles. In 1748 Frederick commissioned a large fountain for the palace complete with artificial ruins. The waterworks part of his plan proved too difficult and was soon abandoned, but not before designer Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff constructed the ruins. The complex includes Roman pillars, a round temple, and the wall of a Roman theatre. Since 1927 the site has belonged to the Prussian Gardens and Palaces Foundation, Berlin-Brandenburg.

6. PARC MONCEAU // PARIS, FRANCE

Elegant Parc Monceau is located in the fashionable 8th arrondissement of Paris near the Champs-Elysees and Palais de l’Elysée. In 1778, the Duke of Chartres decided to build a mansion on land previously used for hunting. He loved English architecture and gardens, including the notion of nostalgic ruins, so he hired the architect Louis Carrogis Carmontelle to create an extravagant park complete with a Roman temple, antique statues, a Chinese bridge, a farmhouse, a Dutch windmill, a minaret, a small Egyptian pyramid, and some fake gravestones. The most notable feature of the park is a pond surrounded by Corinthian columns, now known as Colonnade de Carmontelle.

7. HAGLEY PARK CASTLE // WORCESTERSHIRE, ENGLAND

The ruins of the medieval castle at Hagley Park in Worcestershire are definitely fake, but they were built with debris from the real ruin of a neighboring abbey. The folly was commissioned by Sir George Lyttelton in 1747 and designed by Sanderson Miller, an English pioneer of Gothic revival architecture. The castle has a round tower at each corner, but by design only one is complete and decorated inside with a coat of arms. The grounds, which also feature a temple portico inspired by an ancient Greek temple, some urns, and obelisks, are now privately owned and not open to the public.

8. TATA CASTLE RUINS // TATA, HUNGARY

French architect Charles de Moreau (1758-1841) was a scholar of classical Roman architecture known for his ability to counterfeit impressive ruins. Nicholas I, Prince Esterhazy of Hungary, hired him to work on Tata Castle and to create the ruins of a Romanesque church for the palace’s English Garden. Even though the ruin Moreau created was fake, he built it with the stones of a real ruin, the remnants of the early-12th-century Benedictine and later Dominican abbey of Vértesszőlős. A third-century ancient Roman tombstone and relief were placed nearby.

9. BELVEDERE CASTLE // MANHATTAN, NEW YORK

Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux designed Central Park in the mid-1800s, and their plan for creating romantic vistas included the construction of a folly known as Belvedere Castle. The Gothic-Romanesque style hybrid, overlooking Central Park’s Great Lawn, was completed in 1869. Although the folly was designed as a hollow shell and meant to be a ruin, it eventually served a practical purpose, housing a weather bureau and exhibit space. The castle also provides a beautiful backdrop for Shakespeare in the Park productions, evoking the royal homes that play prominent roles in the Bard’s works.

10. FOLLY WALL IN BARKING TOWN SQUARE // LONDON

In a borough known for its real historic buildings, the ancient wall found in London’s Barking Town Square might look centuries old. It’s not, and ironically, the wall is part of the square’s renovation efforts. The wall was built by bricklaying students at Barking College using old bricks and crumbling stone items found at salvage yards. Known as the "Secret Garden," named after the children’s book about a walled garden, the wall was designed to screen a nearby supermarket and was unveiled in 2007.

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11 Delicious Facts About Good Burger
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Paramount Pictures

It takes just 14 words—“Welcome to Good Burger, home of the Good Burger, can I take your order?”—to make a ‘90s kid swoon with nostalgia. Good Burger, the beloved Nickelodeon comedy about a couple of daft teens who try to save their fast food joint from corporate greed, was born out of a Kenan Thompson/Kel Mitchell sketch on All That in the mid-'90s. A year later, due to its popularity, it found itself being turned into its own live-action movie, with Brian Robbins at the helm. Today—20 years after its original release—it’s a silly cult hit that’s indelibly a part of Generation Y. Revisit the classic with these facts about Good Burger.

1. KEL MITCHELL AUDITIONED FOR ALL THAT WITH HIS CHARACTER FROM GOOD BURGER.

In an interview with The A.V. Club, Kel Mitchell explained how he came up with Ed. “I did a ‘dude’ voice, and that’s where Ed [from Good Burger] was kind of born,” he said. “I did that there at the audition. They were just cracking up.”

2. ED’S FIRST APPEARANCE WAS IN THE JOSH SERVER SKETCH, “DREAM REMOTE.”

Essentially, Good Burger was born out of a random character decision made during one little sketch. “It was where [Josh] could have a remote control that could control his entire life,” Mitchell told The A.V. Club. “So, he could fast-forward through his sister nagging, he could make pizza come really quickly. I was the pizza guy. I came to the door, and the pizza guy didn’t really have a voice, so I was like, ‘Mleh, here’s your pizza! That was the first time we saw Ed, and so they created Good Burger.”

3. ED’S LOOK WAS INSPIRED BY MILLI VANILLI.

When prepping for Ed’s debut on All That, Kel Mitchell spotted what would become the character’s signature look. “I remember I went to the hair room, and I saw these braids. It was like these early Brandy ’90s Milli Vanilli braids. I put those on, and it came to life,” he told The A.V. Club.

4. THOUSANDS OF POUNDS OF MEAT STUNK UP THE SET.

Nickelodeon

For a movie all about burgers, you better believe the production had a ton of them sitting around on set. "At one point, there was over 1750 pounds of meat on the set," Kenan Thompson told The Morning Call. "Some of it was old meat. It was so nasty. Some of the burgers would stay out there for a long time. I felt sorry for the extras who had to eat them with cold, clammy fries. But on screen, those burgers look good."

5. ELMER’S GLUE WAS USED TO KEEP THE FOOD LOOKING FRESH.

In order to keep the food looking good on screen, the production resorted to old, albeit inedible, tricks. "It was so gross, because when I scoop out ice cream in the movie, it was really vegetable shortening with food coloring,” Mitchell told The Morning Call. “When I poured milk on cereal, we used Elmer's Glue so the flakes wouldn't get soggy."

6. KENAN AND KEL CONTRIBUTED TO THE GOOD BURGER SOUNDTRACK.

Good Burger was their baby, so of course Kenan and Kel took the reins on more than just the creation of the characters, according to a 1997 interview with The Morning Call. Specifically, Kel partnered up with Less Than Jake on the hit song, “We’re All Dudes.” Because of this, the soundtrack actually charted at 101 on the Billboard 200.

7. GOOD BURGER WAS LINDA CARDELLINI’S FEATURE FILM DEBUT.

YouTube

In an interview with The A.V. Club, the Freaks and Geeks star reminisced about her breakout role in the Nickelodeon movie. “That’s my sister’s favorite role that I’ve ever played! It was so much fun. It was my first film, and it was a fantastic part,” Cardellini said. “I got to play crazy! Nobody knew who I was, and I got the part from the table read.”

8. WRITER DAN SCHNEIDER INTENDED TO GIVE UP ACTING WHEN HE WROTE GOOD BURGER, BUT HE PLAYED MR. BAILY IN THE FILM.

On creating Good Burger, writer/producer/actor Dan Schneider explained to The A.V. Club: “I’ve always wanted to write, and after I was doing All That and Kenan & Kel, I got the opportunity to do another TV show—I was still going on auditions. I realized that if I took that show, I was going to have to give up All That and Kenan & Kel. I really didn’t want to do [that] ... I passed on the acting role, and that was really the turning point, I guess, in 1996, when I was like, ‘You know what? I’m going to put my acting career on the back burner, and I’m going to be a writer-producer.’ Then I wrote the movie Good Burger.” However, if you watch the movie, you’ll notice Schneider starring as Mr. Baily.

9. THE ORIGINAL TRAILER FEATURED A SCENE THAT DIDN’T MAKE THE MOVIE.

For reasons that remain a mystery, a scene where a Good Burger customer orders “a good shake” from Ed (Mitchell), only to receive an actual bodily shaking from the Good Burger employee, didn’t make the final cut. It did, however, feature for a few seconds in the theatrical trailer.

10. KENAN AND KEL REUNITED FOR A GOOD BURGER SKETCH ON THE TONIGHT SHOW.

In 2015, Kenan and Kel reunited for a Good Burger sketch with Jimmy Fallon. This time, however, Fallon played Ed’s co-worker, while Kenan came in as a construction worker as a surprise. "We've been wanting to get back together," Mitchell told E! News. "It was just about the right project ... it felt like home."

11. THE FIRST LINE IN THE FILM IS THE SAME AS THE LAST LINE.

Appropriately, the line is, “Welcome to Good Burger, home of the Good Burger, can I take your order?”—just watch the movie.

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