After trying Coke’s current entry into the orange soda market (Fanta Orange), it was time to give Pepsi’s Orange Slice a fair shot. Slice used to be the main “fruit” brand for Pepsi, coming in orange, lemon lime, apple, strawberry, and other flavors (similar to how the Fanta brand is used today).
When all of these products were on the market, they really didn’t make a large dent in the “fruity pop” category for Pepsi. So about 4 years ago they pulled Lemon Lime Slice and replaced it with Sierra Mist. The results have been positive for Mist, but that’s really not based on taste. Rather, Pepsi forced most of their bottlers to carry Sierra Mist as their “lemon lime” offering instead of the usual “freelance” choice, 7Up. Result: 7Up sales down, Sierra Mist sales up. (Though if Cadbury Schweppes continues to crank out duds like 7Up Plus, they have no hope of gaining market share).
All this to say that the Orange Slice brand was somewhat retired when the flagship Lemon Lime was put out to pasture. Yes, you can still find Orange Slice every now and then (I found my odd bottle at a gas station), but it’s not very popular with retailers. Frankly, it doesn’t earn enough to warrant the shelf space.
Incidentally, Pepsi hasn’t really replaced Orange Slice with any other orange product, unless you consider Mountain Dew LiveWire to be the heir to the throne. Personally, I don’t feel that’s the case as LiveWire doesn’t taste enough like orange soda, yet also doesn’t taste enough like Mountain Dew. According to Pepsi’s website, Orange Slice continues to be an active product.
How does it taste? Well, it tastes a heck of a lot better than Fanta Orange, that’s for sure! It has a nice fruity scent and doesn’t taste as fake when you drink it. It also possesses a fine aftertaste that doesn’t leave you wanting to wash your mouth out with soap. Frankly, it’s just a solid orange drink that I wouldn’t mind having again.
To me, it’s sad to see Orange Slice pushed off into obscurity. In high school when I used to spend my summers working at a camp, I often ran their Canteen — selling candy, pop, ice cream, merchandise. One summer, I invented a special drink to compliment our casual Root Beer Float sales. Creating something more fruity and fun, I combined Orange Slice with rainbow sherbet… calling it the Rainbow Delight. We sold a ton of those drinks that summer!