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.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Shout! Factory
10 Surprising Facts About Mr. Mom
Shout! Factory
Shout! Factory

John Hughes penned the script for 1983's Mr. Mom, a comedy about a family man named Jack Butler (Micheal Keaton) who loses his job. To ensure their three kids are taken care of, his wife, Caroline (Teri Garr), goes back to work—leaving Jack to fight off a vacuum cleaner and learn why it's never a good idea to feed chili to a baby.

In 1982, Keaton turned in a star-making role in Ron Howard’s Night Shift, but Mr. Mom marked the first time he headlined a movie, and it launched his career. Hughes had written National Lampoon's Vacation, which—oddly enough—was released in theaters the weekend after Mr. Mom. But Hughes himself was still a relative unknown, as it would be another year before he entered the teen flick phase of his career, which would make him iconic.

In the meantime, Mr. Mom hit home for a lot of viewers, as the economy was on the downturn and more and more women were entering (or reentering) the workforce. But some people think that the movie's ending—which sees the couple revert to traditional gender roles—sidelined the movie's message. Still, on the 35th anniversary of its release, Mr. Mom remains an ahead-of-its-time comedy classic.

1. IT'S BASED ON A TRUE STORY.

Mr. Mom producer Lauren Shuler Donner came across a funny article John Hughes had written for National Lampoon. Based on that, she contacted him and the two became friends. “One day, he was telling me that his wife had gone down to Arizona and he was in charge of the two boys and he didn’t know what he was doing,” Donner told IGN. “It was hilarious! I was on the floor laughing. He said, ‘Do you think this would make a good movie?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, this is really funny.’ So he said, ‘Well, I have about 80 pages in a drawer. Would you look at it?’ So I looked at it and I said, ‘This is great! Let’s do it!’ We kind of developed it ourselves.” In the book Movie Moguls Speak, Donner mentioned how Hughes “had never been to a grocery store, he had never operated a vacuum cleaner. John was so ignorant, that in his ignorance, he was hilarious.”

The players involved with the movie told Donner and Hughes they thought it should be a TV movie. Hughes had a TV deal with Aaron Spelling, who came aboard to executive produce. “Then the players involved were upset because John was writing out of Chicago instead of L.A.,” Donner said in Movie Moguls Speak. “They fired John and brought in a group of TV writers. In the end, John and I were muscled out. It was a good movie, but if you ever read John’s original script for Mr. Mom, it’s far better.”

2. JOHN HUGHES REJECTED THE IDEA OF DIRECTING MR. MOM.

Stan Dragoti ended up directing the film, but only after Hughes turned it down, because he preferred to make his movies in Chicago, not Hollywood. “I don’t like being around the people in the movie business,” Hughes told Roger Ebert. “In Hollywood, you spend all of your time having lunch and making deals. Everybody is trying to shoot you down. I like to get my actors out here where we can make our movies in privacy.” Hughes remained in Chicago and filmed his directorial debut, Sixteen Candles, there.

3. MICHAEL KEATON GOT THE ROLE BECAUSE OF NIGHT SHIFT.

In 1982’s Night Shift, Keaton’s character works at a morgue and starts a prostitution ring with co-worker Henry Winkler. Donner had an agent friend, Laurie Perlman, who represented the not-yet-famous actor. She contacted Donner and pitched Keaton to her. “’Look, I represent this guy who is really funny. Would you meet with him?’" Donner recalled of the conversation. "So I met with him. Usually I don’t like to do this unless we’re casting, but I met with him because she was my friend. And then she said, ‘You have to see this movie Night Shift that he’s in.’ So I went to see Night Shift, and midway through I couldn’t wait to get out of that theater to give Mr. Mom to Michael Keaton. Fortunately, he liked it."

Keaton told Grantland that he turned down one of the main roles in Splash to play Jack Butler. “I just remember at the time thinking I wanted to get away from what I’d just done on Night Shift,” he said. “I thought if I do it again, I might get myself stuck. So then Mr. Mom came along. So I said no [to Splash] so I could set up this framework right away where I could do different things.”

4. THE FILM BROKE NEW GROUND.

Teri Garr, Michael Keaton, Taliesin Jaffe, Frederick Koehler, and Martin Mull in Mr. Mom (1983)
Shout! Factory

In 1983, more women stayed at home than worked, so it was a novelty for a man to be a stay-at-home dad. Today, an estimated 1.4 million men are stay-at-home dads, and 7 million men are their children's primary caregiver. “Mr. Mom became part of the vernacular,” Donner told Newsweek. “Mr. Mom represented a segment of men who were at home dealing with the kids who, up until then, really hadn’t been heard from. That’s what really told me about the power of film, because it spoke for a lot of men. It also helped women, because I think that women sometimes, if you’re a housewife, you’re not really appreciated for what you do. This sort of made women feel better about what they did because they knew that men were understanding it.”

5. TODAY, “MR. MOM” IS CONSIDERED A PEJORATIVE TERM.

More than 30 years after the film’s release, stay-at-home dads feel the term “Mr. Mom” should die. The National At-Home Dad Network launched a campaign to terminate the phrase and instead have people refer to men as “Dad.” In 2014 Lake Superior State University voted to banish “Mr. Mom” from the lexicon.

“At least, the pop-culture image of the inept dad who wouldn’t know a diaper genie from a garbage disposal has begun to fade,” wrote The Wall Street Journal, after declaring “Mr. Mom is dead.”

6. TERI GARR DIDN’T KNOW IT WAS A MESSAGE MOVIE.

The movie redefined gender roles, but when the producers pitched the premise to Garr, they hid the plot reversal. “They just told me it was about a guy who does the work that a woman does, because it’s so easy,” she told The A.V. Club. “And I went, ‘Oh, yeah. Ha ha.’ It’s so easy. All the women I know who stay home and take care of their kids, they go, ‘Oh yeah, this is easy.’ Hmm.”

7. MARTIN MULL IMPROVISED THE “220, 221” LINE.

The quote everyone remembers from the movie comes from Jack, holding a chainsaw, standing next to Ron Richardson (Martin Mull) and discussing what kind of wiring Jack will use in renovating the house: “220, 221, whatever it takes,” Jack says.

“We’re doing the scene and it was okay,” Keaton told Esquire. “And I remember saying to the prop guy, ‘Go find me a chainsaw.’ When he comes back with it, he says, ‘You wanna wear these?’ And he holds up some goggles. I go, ‘Yeah.’ You know, they make me look crazy. And when Martin shows up, I know I should look under control, I’m not sweating it. I’m a dude. So we’re standing there, Martin pulls me aside and says, ‘You know what you ought to say? When I ask about the wiring, you oughta just deadpan: ‘220, 221.’ I died. It was perfect. I may have added ‘whatever it takes.’ But it was his.”

“That was a little ad-lib that we just threw in, but every carpenter or construction person I’ve ever worked with, they’re always quoting that line from Mr. Mom,” Mull told The A.V. Club.

8. MR. MOM OUTGROSSED HUGHES’S OTHER 1983 SUMMER MOVIE—VACATION.

Mr. Mom only opened on 126 screens on July 22, 1983, but managed to gross $947,197 during its opening weekend. Once the film went wide a month later to 1235 screens, it hit number one at the box office and spent five weeks at the top. By the end of its run, the film had grossed just shy of $65 million, making it the ninth highest-grossing film of 1983 (just between Staying Alive and Risky Business). National Lampoon’s Vacation, Hughes’s other film that summer, came out July 29 and ended its theatrical run with $61,399,552 (at its height, it showed on 1248 screens). Vacation finished the year in 11th place.

9. THE MOVIE LED TO HUGHES BEING CALLED “A PURVEYOR OF HORNY SEX COMEDIES.”

During a 1986 interview with Seventeen magazine, Molly Ringwald asked the writer-director why he never showed teen sex in Sixteen Candles or The Breakfast Club. “In Sixteen Candles, I figured it would only be gratuitous to show Samantha and Jake in anything more than a kiss,” he said. “The kiss is the most beautiful moment. I was really amused when someone once called me a ‘purveyor of horny sex comedies.’ He listed The Breakfast Club and Mr. Mom in parentheses. I thought, ‘What kind of sex?’ Yes, in Mr. Mom there’s a baby in a bathtub and you see its bare butt.”

10. MR. MOM WAS MADE INTO A TV MOVIE AFTER ALL.

In the beginning, producers wanted Mr. Mom to be a TV movie, not a feature film. But a year after the film came out in theaters, ABC produced a TV movie called Mr. Mom, with the same characters and premise. Barry Van Dyke played Jack and Rebecca York played Caroline. A People magazine review of the movie stated: “They and their three kids are immediately likable … But it goes downhill from there as the script lobotomizes all its characters. Here’s a textbook case in how TV takes a cute idea—and a script that does have some good lines—and leeches the wit out of it.”

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Central Press/Getty Images
Ernest Hemingway’s Guide to Life, In 20 Quotes
Central Press/Getty Images
Central Press/Getty Images

Though he made his living as a writer, Ernest Hemingway was just as famous for his lust for adventure. Whether he was running with the bulls in Pamplona, fishing for marlin in Bimini, throwing back rum cocktails in Havana, or hanging out with his six-toed cats in Key West, the Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning author never did anything halfway. And he used his adventures as fodder for the unparalleled collection of novels, short stories, and nonfiction books he left behind, The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, Death in the Afternoon, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and The Old Man and the Sea among them.

On what would be his 119th birthday—he was born in Oak Park, Illinois on July 21, 1899—here are 20 memorable quotes that offer a keen perspective into Hemingway’s way of life.

ON THE IMPORTANCE OF LISTENING

"I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen."

ON TRUST

"The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them."

ON DECIDING WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT

"I never had to choose a subject—my subject rather chose me."

ON TRAVEL

"Never go on trips with anyone you do not love."


Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston. [1], Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN INTELLIGENCE AND HAPPINESS

"Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know."

ON TRUTH

"There's no one thing that is true. They're all true."

ON THE DOWNSIDE OF PEOPLE

"The only thing that could spoil a day was people. People were always the limiters of happiness, except for the very few that were as good as spring itself."

ON SUFFERING FOR YOUR ART

"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed."

ON TAKING ACTION

"Never mistake motion for action."

ON GETTING WORDS OUT

"I wake up in the morning and my mind starts making sentences, and I have to get rid of them fast—talk them or write them down."


Photograph by Mary Hemingway, in the Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston., Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

ON THE BENEFITS OF SLEEP

"I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I'm awake, you know?"

ON FINDING STRENGTH 

"The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places."

ON THE TRUE NATURE OF WICKEDNESS

"All things truly wicked start from innocence."

ON WRITING WHAT YOU KNOW

"If a writer knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one ninth of it being above water."

ON THE DEFINITION OF COURAGE

"Courage is grace under pressure."

ON THE PAINFULNESS OF BEING FUNNY

"A man's got to take a lot of punishment to write a really funny book."


By Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston. - JFK Library, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

ON KEEPING PROMISES

"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut."

ON GOOD VS. EVIL

"About morals, I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after."

ON REACHING FOR THE UNATTAINABLE

"For a true writer, each book should be a new beginning where he tries again for something that is beyond attainment. He should always try for something that has never been done or that others have tried and failed. Then sometimes, with great luck, he will succeed."

ON HAPPY ENDINGS

"There is no lonelier man in death, except the suicide, than that man who has lived many years with a good wife and then outlived her. If two people love each other there can be no happy end to it."

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios