It's time for another formal beverage review/update of a product that has been out a while already (and we've discussed previously). The soft drink is Mountain Dew LiveWire. (Which we first reviewed back in May 2003.)
Launched as a limited-time drink for the Summer of 2003, LiveWire was the 3rd product line extension of the Mountain Dew brand:
- Mountain Dew Code Red (2001)
- Mountain Dew Blue Shock (2002, 7-Eleven Slurpee flavor)
- Mountain Dew LiveWire (2003, limited/full-time)
- Mountain Dew Baja Blast (2004, Taco Bell exclusive)
- Mountain Dew Pitch Black (2004, limited)
The taste is orange-flavored. Kinda like Orange Slice with a different aftertaste. There is no resemblance to Mountain Dew flavoring at all, which is disappointing.
Despite the non-Dew taste, the product did very well in the Summer of 2003. According to Beverage Digest, an industry publication, it helped spur sales in the "orange-flavored drink" category:
Growth was largely due to successful introduction of Pepsi's Mt. Dew LiveWire, which is classified in this data as orange. Pepsi, however, takes issue with that categorization. Pepsi executive: "With all due respect to your data, Mountain Dew LiveWire is not an orange soda. It's an inimitable new Dew, combining the unique formula of base Mountain Dew with a bold orange flavor."
Whatever, it's orange pop.
Because of the success, LiveWire was moved from "limited" status to "full-time" status and returned during the Summer of 2004. It also experienced a slight change in packaging, specifically in regards to the product's description. Originally it was marketed as "Orange Ignited" but now it's known as "Dew sparked with orange." Perhaps this is in direct response to folks labeling it as an orange soda. But c'mon, it's orange… you can't deny that.
Overall, it's not a great product, but it's tolerable. I'd drink Code Red over this stuff any day, however.