8. Life Savers (1995)
During the mid-’90s, fruit-flavored beverages such as Fruitopia were all the rage, and Life Savers tried to hop on that bandwagon by introducing a line of non-carbonated drinks in 1995. The only difference is that Fruitopia and Snapple marketed themselves as healthy alternatives to soda, while Life Savers drinks were ostensibly liquid candy. Which they were, but still. ‘Mericans might have horrible eating and drinking habits, but we at least like to fool ourselves into thinking we’re occasionally making healthy choices.
7. Coca-Cola Black Cherry Vanilla (2006 – 2007)
I’m not much of a soda drinker, but when I drink soda, I like cherry or vanilla cola. This was the best of both worlds. Damn it, now I need to buy two bottles of soda to mix together just to try to recreate this short-lived drink. Unfortunately, I’m not ambitious enough to do that. Oh well.
6. Snapple Tru Root Beer (1983 – late ’80s)
Snapple Tru Root Beer was clear, lightly carbonated, and really tasty. It was less sweet than other root beers, but still sugary enough to give a kid a good buzz. It was also apparently just healthy enough for my mom to buy for me when Pepsi and other caffeinated, artificially colored sodas were off limits.
In 1983, Snapple launched a line of sodas that also included Cherry Lime Rickey, Creme D’Vanilla, Diet Lemon Lime, French Cherry, Ginger Ale, and Jamaican Ginger Beer, among several others. While sales were not bad, the company would launch its iced tea line in 1987 and its fruit cocktail juice drinks in 1989. These drinks would begin to define the company’s borderline health-conscious image, and the sodas were eventually phased out.
5. Apple Slice (1986)
Slice, the precursor to Sierra Mist, touted “10% juice” for a decade, from its introduction in 1984 until 1994. While I’m not so sure that was a real selling point — I mean, if you want some damn juice, just drink some juice — it was a lighter, slightly less sweet alternative to 7up and Sprite. And unlike those sodas, it came in a variety of flavors.
Apple Slice was actually PepsiCo’s replacement for Aspen, an apple-flavored soda sold between 1978 and 1982. Apple Slice lasted for an even shorter time period, and has since not been replaced or reintroduced, despite the limited market return of the Slice brand in 2009.