When I look at the reviews I’ve done on various soft drinks, I found it interesting that I never provided my thoughts on Pepsi Twist. So, without further adieu…
Pepsi Twist was launched nationwide in late 2001/early 2002 and featured the taste of Pepsi with a bit of lemon thrown in. The ad campaign hit a high point during Super Bowl XXXVII with a commercial staring Ozzy, Jack, and Kelly Osbourne switching out of costumes that looked like each other, hence a whole “twist” on your perceptions.
It made an big impact upon rollout, as Pepsi was also riding the buzz of Pepsi Blue, which has since been discontinued. These days, it’s a bit harder to find, though it’s still part of Pepsi’s lineup… albeit considered somewhat of a flop. When it came out, I liked it a lot… though I thought it could have used a little more lemon flavor. Then again, I tend to like the flavor of Pepsi already, so adding an additional flavor couldn’t really hurt it that much. A lot of folks didn’t like it, however, stating that it tasted like Lemon-scented Pledge!
From a historical perspective, you may be surprised to learn that this isn’t the first time that Pepsi has added lemon to their formula. In 1975, the company launched Pepsi Light “with a distinctive lemon taste, introduced as an alternative to traditional diet colas.”
The ingredients included carbonated water, sugar, caramel color, phosphoric acid, citric acid, sodium saccharin, natural & artificial flavorings, and caffeine. If you look closely, you’ll note that it contained saccharin, which has had a storied history in regards to causing cancer according to various studies.
Most soft drink manufacturers have moved away from using saccharin as a sweetener in their products… with the exception of Coca-Cola’s Tab, which initially used saccharin, then was reformulated to contain aspartame, and now contains a mix of both.
For the record, Pepsi Twist’s ingredients list includes: carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup and/or sugar, clarified lemon juice from concentrate, caramel color, natural flavors, phosphoric acid, potassium citrate, potassium benzoate, caffeine, citric acid, ascorbic acid, and calcium disodium EDTA.
Doesn’t that make you feel more confident in what you are drinking? Yeah, I didn’t think so!