Friday, May 17, 2013

Mountain Dew: Kickstart!


As the days get longer and the temperatures start to rise this can only mean one thing, the 2013 Summer Season has arrived! And despite the unseasonably late snow storm from a few days ago, I am very much ready for things to spice up around here.

I like a lot of the little nuances that happen during the summer months. Specifically the strange phenomenon known as the Limited Edition Soda. All kinds of weird offshoot flavors tend to spring up this time of year and most of them are long forgotten by years end.

Mountain Dew AM
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As a soda collector, I like to procure every possible variation of these limited edition beverages. 2013 hasn't shown anything spectacular quite yet, but it's still early in the year and I'm sure there will be plenty of sights to see.

Mountain Dew: Kickstart isn't exactly a Limited Edition Soda so much as it is a slightly bizarre idea from Pepsi that seems destined to end up being available only for a short time.

For those who don't follow soda company trends, you might not realize it but the sale of carbonated beverages is on the decline. Turns out people started to realize that drinking gallons of the sweet stuff daily might not be the wisest of health choices.

In order to make up for this lost market share a lot of companies are either trying to promote "healthier" (if such a thing exists) and lower calorie alternatives to our favorite drinks. This is where the Dr. Pepper 10 and Coke Zero's of the world come from.

Along with these low calorie beverages, Pepsi is also attempting to crack into previously untapped markets. Namely the breakfast / coffee drinking crowd. Taco Bell currently offers 'Mountain Dew AM' as part of its breakfast menu but for those of us who don't like diarrhea before noon time, Mountain Dew: Kickstart waits in hopes of waking us up each morning.

Kickstart is currently available in two different flavors, Orange Citrus and Fruit Punch. Sold in 16 fl oz metal cans, they differentiate themselves from either traditional soda cans or the larger plastic bottles and the bright color scheme help them to stand out from the sea of energy drinks they are competing against.

The price? I don't exactly remember. Let's go with $1.99... that sounds reasonable right? The important thing here is clearly the taste and this my friends is were I find the biggest fault with Kickstart.

Mountain Dew AM
Click for Larger Image!
I cannot help to shake the feeling that Orange Citrus and Fruit Punch are basically just diet versions of Mountain Dew Livewire and Code Red, the readily available alternative versions of Dew that have been on shelves for years now.

Both flavors are largely forgettable. To the point that its honestly hard to describe them. One tastes exactly like every orange soda you've ever had and the other is Hawaiian Punch in a metal can.

Am I being overly critical on Mountain Dew: Kickstart? Perhaps. I just find the flavors of both drinks to be so underwhelming that neither of them really feel worth the effort. I guess I'm also still slightly confused about who exactly these are made for.

If its an attempt to grab hold of the early morning market, it's not going to succeed. The folks who are addicted to coffee are addicted for a reason and no amount of Mountain Dew is going to convert them over.

Likewise, us Dew-Addicts don't mind popping open a can pretty much as soon as we wake up in the morning. So who is this for? It's surely not any healthier than a traditional carbonated beverage, doesn't have a unique taste, and I can't think of any specific time of day that it makes the most sense to drink.

I hate to call Kickstart dead in the water but quite frankly if this stuff is still available by this time next year, you can color me surprised.

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