Back in January, Amy and I were on a road trip up through the state of Michigan. We developed car trouble and quickly found our way to a repair facility. While we were waiting to get back on the road, I browsed the waiting area’s vending machines and discovered they carried Tropicana Twister Soda Strawberry.
Now, I haven’t been too impressed with the Tropicana Twister Soda line of drinks from Pepsi. They have been pretty underwhelming every time I’ve experienced them, which has included both the Tropicana Twister Soda Citrus and Tropicana Twister Soda Orange flavors. Basically, the whole attempt at this line feels lackluster and unsupported by Pepsi. It’s obvious they need a “fruit flavor” line of drinks to combat Coke’s Fanta, but this doesn’t feel like a very successful way to go about it. Personally, I think they should have kept the Slice brand more active. (I still miss Orange Slice!)
The Tropicana Twister Soda line debuted with just 3 flavors and 1 diet (Orange, Grape, Strawberry + Diet Orange). This was followed by a 4th flavor, Citrus. The drinks have been hard to find where I live in Chicago, which contributes to my opinion that they aren’t exactly selling like gangbusters. Even so, I’ve only been able to find the Citrus and Orange flavors, and even they have seemingly disappeared from the market.
So I was pretty enthusiastic about experiencing the Strawberry flavor in the Tropicana Twister Soda family. Pepsi markets this drink as the “The Intensely Strawberry Strawberry”. Like the other drinks in the line, they claim an inclusion of 1% fruit juice. Not exactly a ton, but it’s something. In the case of strawberry, interestingly the ingredients note that the real juice is actually grape juice from concentrate.
There aren’t a lot of strawberry-flavored drinks on the market these days, so it’s hard to know what this flavor is really supposed to taste like. My experience with Fanta Strawberry was quite negative. It tasted quite fake. I must say the same is true for Tropicana Twister Soda Strawberry. It was not a pleasurable experience. The sweetener was not very authentic, at least what I perceive to be what a strawberry beverage should taste like (then again, it does use high fructose corn syrup, so there is very little room to actually improve the taste).
Overall, the strawberry version of Tropicana Twister Soda lives up to the expectations of the rest of this lineup from Pepsi… and that’s not a good thing.