Review: Cherry 7Up Antioxidant


Well, there's another 7Up ruined.

Back in February, the folks at Dr Pepper Snapple Group announced that they were rolling out a new beverage called Cherry 7Up Antioxidant, which, in effect, was replacing the old Cherry 7Up that was released in the 1980s.

Cherry 7Up Antioxidant

Cherry 7Up Antioxidant

Just what was the big deal about this revitalized flavor? Let's take a look at the official spin via the press release:

7UP Gives Consumers a New Reason to Fall in Love – New Cherry 7UP Antioxidant

Cherry 7UP Antioxidant Allows Consumers to Cherry Pick Their Antioxidant

PLANO, Texas, Feb. 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Just in time for the perfect Valentine's Day toast, the 7UP brand is romancing consumers with its latest creation – Cherry 7UP Antioxidant. The pink-hued, crisp and refreshing beverage combines the delicious flavor of 7UP with a hint of cherry flavor and the bonus of antioxidant Vitamin E.

"Cherry 7UP Antioxidant gives consumers a refreshing way to enjoy more of the antioxidants they are looking for," said Ian Norton, brand manager of marketing for 7UP. "People want to fall in love with beverages that taste great and provide a fun way to get benefits. And that's exactly what Cherry 7UP Antioxidant delivers."

The new Cherry 7UP Antioxidant includes 10 percent of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin E per eight ounce serving. Cherry 7UP Antioxidant is available now in both regular and diet versions and, like all 7UP products, is 100 percent naturally flavored and caffeine free.

The nationwide launch of Cherry 7UP Antioxidant will be supported by an integrated marketing campaign featuring TV and print advertisements. Consumers can also visit www.7UP.com and download a coupon for $1 off a 12-pack of Cherry 7UP Antioxidant.

Cherry 7UP Antioxidant is available nationwide everywhere 7UP products are sold. The new flavor will be available in 12-pack, 2 liter and 20-ounce sizes, as well in 8-ounce trial cans.

I have to ask… what is with 7Up and their desire to make the brand relevant by adding stuff to it that doesn't make any sense? I mean, I think the folks at Dr Pepper Snapple Group have hit a home run modifying their namesake with Dr Pepper Cherry. It's great! Yet 7Up gets tossed to the curb with… antioxidants? Is there no love for 7Up?


Cherry 7Up Antioxidant commercial
(Source: 7Up.com)

Out of the gate, based on perception alone, Cherry 7UP Antioxidant smacks of another failed 7Up extension… 7Up Plus. Do we really have to relive the horrid tastes that were 7Up Plus Mixed Berry, 7Up Plus Island Fruit, and 7Up Plus Cherry? Those drinks played the same game, attempting to differentiate by including "real fruit juice, calcium and vitamin C". Guess what? It didn't work. 7Up Plus has pretty much disappeared from the marketplace. Yet we're now messing with Cherry 7Up by adding Vitamin E and saying "hey, this is great!"

I'm not sure what's going on with the brand, and I know 7Up has lost a lot of marketshare to the likes of Sprite and Sierra Mist, but this continued reformulation angle just doesn't seem to be cutting it. Remember the last big change? When 7Up announced that it was shifting to "natural ingredients"? Well, that change actually made 7Up taste worse, in our opinion, especially since it still contained high fructose corn syrup. Incidentally, those claims prompted a lawsuit from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, noting that HFCS wasn't exactly natural. In the end, the drink was relabeled from "100 Natural Ingredients" to "100% Natural Flavors".

Cherry 7Up

Remember the old Cherry 7Up?

I liked Cherry 7Up. The old version of Cherry 7Up. Can you tell I'm angry at these changes?

Deep breaths!

The new Cherry 7Up Antioxidant also features "100% Natural Flavors", and the previously noted inclusion of Vitamin E, which is the antioxidant in question. The drink is less pink than the original Cherry 7Up, this time skewing more reddish in color. The scent hints at a cherry-ized version of Sierra Mist, with its fake-tasting lemon-lime influence. There's the smell of cherry, but it's not the same as the original version. I know because I tested these side-by-side (thankfully, a store down the street still had some older stock of regular Cherry 7Up… may that flavor RIP).

As for the taste? Well, take everything you loved about regular Cherry 7Up and throw it out the window. This new Cherry 7Up Antioxidant is amazingly syrupy and fake. Yes, there's a cherry taste, but it's not the light influence you once knew. Instead, it borders on liquid candy, especially in the aftertaste. It's more juice-like, less 7Up. It does not convey, "hey, here's a light refreshing cherry drink that won't overwhelm you." Instead, it's more like "hey man, we're cherry, but we're cherry with some MORE STUFF, so don't miss it… and we won't let you!" (Hmm, maybe I should write a play with the characters of Cherry 7Up and Cherry 7Up Antioxidant!)

Ingredients:

Cherry 7Up Antioxidant

Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup and contains 2% of less of each of the following: citric acid, natural flavors, potassium benzoate (preservative), vitamin E acetate, red 40

A 20 oz bottle contains 240 calories, 70 mg of sodium, and 64 g carbs (63 g sugars).

Overall, the drink had a negative effect on me. I know I'm biased given my passion for the previous version, but here's a good example of why messing with the formula might not have been a good thing. The problem wasn't the formula. It was in perception, marketing, and appearance. Just because the drink now has Vitamin E, do you expect a huge jump in sales? Is that really going to influence a customer's buying habits… for soda? Did we learn nothing from Diet Coke Plus? Soft drinks aren't healthy!

Cherry 7Up Antioxidant is not an improvement over its predecessor, Cherry 7Up. It shifted from a light, cherry-infused drink built on a lemon-lime base to a heavy, syrup-laden albatross that probably isn't going to help its market share. It needs a do-over!

Comments

  1. They're just jumping on the antioxidant bandwagon, like a lot of companies are, to make their products seem healthy. But it still has lots of sugar. No amount of vitamin E helps that.

  2. I was ecstatic when I first saw the "100% Natural Ingredients" on 7-Up Cans, until I read the label and saw that they were still using HFCS. Show me where on the corn plant the Corn Syrup comes out!

  3. Brendan says:

    But sodas CAN be healthy AND taste great – Take NUTRISODA for example! That stuff tastes awesome and doesn't have any of the bad stuff (sugar, HCFS, aspartame, sodium, calories, etc.). Plus it's got a bunch of vitamins and nutrients.

  4. This new Antioxidant version, and the Diet by the same name, are absolutely horrible. Just like the Pepsi Jazz offerings, it tastes like liquefied kindergarten it's so pornographically sweet. This version actually has more of a chilled, carbonated, liquefied cherry NyQuil with a hint of medicine-y sadness.

    Honestly, with the overdose of HFCS in many new versions these days, (62g+ of it, YIKES!) it's almost pure HFCS with carbonation and flavoring from a medicine bottle.

    Thank GOD we have Pepsi Throwback (for now). Heck, 7Up, bring back the old 80s commercials with the bald Jamaican, "Crisp and clean with NO caffeine, ha ha ha haaaaa!" and maybe if you're going to revamp a flavor, bring back 7Up Gold, or to fail even less, 7Up Throwback with real sugar in glass green bottles like you used to.

    Cherry 7Up Antioxidant + Vitamin E Medicine = Epic Fail.

    Somebody's getting fired.

  5. Vanessa says:

    I loved the old Cherry 7-Up, to me it tasted like a good Shirley Temple at your favorite restaurant. This one is not nearly as good! Tried it cuz I liked the old one, not loving the new one, when is the Throwback Cherry 7UP coming out?

  6. alleyrulez says:

    Cherry 7-Up hasn't been good since the 80's. not sure what happened to it. the old version had more of a "bite".

  7. Thank you so much for posting this. This sounds interesting. I think I will try this.

  8. The old Cherry 7up was off the chain! If ever one would contact drpepper snapple group and request or suggest they to bring back cherry 7up the old version! Hopefully they will if not let's contacted coke-cola to see if they will start making Cherry Sprite!

  9. I agree with the review, the antioxidant version of Cherry 7up is disgusting. I am very disappointed the company decided to change the formula. All companies should learn to leave good enough alone.

  10. Pam LaFoe says:

    I enjoy the diet cherry flavored 7-up. Can you tell me where I can purchase 16-oz. bottles in the Inverness, Florida area? All I am able to find are 12-oz. cans.

  11. potrzebie says:

    I drink the diet version of this alot and while it's not as good as the *old* diet cherry 7up (which didn't it get revamped, or at least re-introduced, about 5 years ago?), it's much better than the new sugary counterpart. Ugh. I saw those one hot day in the cold case at the drug store (during a huge power outage in the area where I live), and as they were out of the mineral water I was after I got it — looked refreshing, but bad! Throwback this one.

  12. I want the old Cherry 7up back! I figured this new stuff would have been recognized as a flop by now.
    Is there a petition somewhere?

  13. Big John says:

    The new Diet Cherry 7up is awfull, I am looking to return meaning cans in a purchase 12 pack. Who thought this tasted better, should be shot.

    Sorry 7 up after years of drinking Diet Cherry 7 up, I have to switch to something, else, did I already say it, it Stinks.

    Do not buy the new product you will be disappointed

  14. I COULDN'T AGREE WITH YOU MORE! I can't tell you how DEVASTATED I am that cherry-7up is being replaced with that anti-oxident BS. WHat the hey? Seriously, I resent being force-fed the vitamins, not like I'm gonna drink it anyway, but the least they could do was give us the option. Regular cherry 7-up is fast disappearing from store shelves, and I may have to go black market to get me some… SIGH.

  15. Brandon Untouchable says:

    I personally think the new diet cherry 7-up is awesome. You people suck. It's hard to find around here, i got the last 12 pack (you're all thinking GREAT!! Hope it's the last of it and it's making it's way off the shelves) well, shame on you people. Anything throwback is absolute garbage BTW.

  16. Sorry 7up but you have made a mistake! I used to love a good Cherry 7up but this new version with antioxidant is not very good AT ALL! I bought some today and am trying to finish drinking it right now….it just doesn't taste right, something is off, and the bitter aftertaste is everything but refreshing. Please consider bringing back the old version…you can advertise as cherry 7up old school. The thing is: if you are trying to boost sales, then spend some money on advertising or working on getting your product into more stores. I never see a 7up commercial and many times 7up products are hard to find in stores. But don't think that by completely changing the product you can have a huge growth in sales….if anything you just lost your few faithful consumers with this new product. I liked the old cherry 7up because it tasted like a good shirley temple…now something just isn't right….it isn't smooth! When people buy a soft drink, they aren't concerned about taking a vitamin or any of that crap, soft drinks are not supposed to be healthy. 10% vitamin E isn't enough to make a difference anyway, you must have 25% of something for it to be considered a significant source! If I'm wanting vitamin E, I will go buy some vitamins, don't try to give me a random vitamin in my drink. It's like mom trying to get you to eat your vegetables. I appreciate 7up products because they are caffeine free, but that's about as far as it goes for being health concious in a soft drink. If you want to make it healthier, take out the red #40 which is a carcinogen. I am not concerned that my drink is red like a cherry; I would just rather not increase my chances of getting cancer. People drinking from the can don't ever see the color anyway. In conclusion: You NEED TO BRING BACK THE OLD CHERRY 7UP WITH SOME ADVERTISING AND AVAILABILTY. People are not looking for a source of vitamins in their soft drinks….if we are that concerned about our health then we wouldn't be drinking even this so-called "healthy version" because it still has acids in it that corrode the enamel from our teeth, red #40 which is a carcinogen, and just enough vitamin E to make the drink takes funky….it only takes a little bit of the wrong thing to screw something up. BRING BACK THE OLD CHERRY 7UP PLEASE!!! Listen to what your consumers are saying….we wouldn't spend the time to write all of these comments if we didn't really feel this way.

  17. It tastes like cranberry gingerale and sierra mist mixed together- gross (w/ a terrible after taste)

  18. Ryan Pringnitz says:

    They should consider bringing back the original flavor. I prefer that over this new take on Cherry 7UP.

  19. I guess we know now where the executives behind New Coke and Crystal Pepsi landed. The real Cherry 7up was great. Cherry 7up Antioxidant is completely and totally nasty, gag worthy even.
    I guess the un-cola wanted to be un-popular.

  20. The problem is that every manufacturer seems to want to 'band' around the term antioxidants to make their product sound healthy and appeal to all us health concious folk.
    There is probably very minimal 'antioxidants' in the product, and most likely smothered with a sea of fructose, corn syrup and a plethora of 'E' numbers.

    Always read the labels!

  21. The cherry flavor is disgusting. It totally ruins it. You can't even taste the 7up.

  22. I live in sallisaw, Oklahoma and shop at wap-mart I love the taste of cherry 7 up with antioxitant but there is never any to be found I would love to be buying some when I go shopping but I can't I am forced to buy another product if you could PLEASE see that they get stocked with some I would surely apprecate your company THANK YOU very much.

  23. This tasted better than I thought it whould.

  24. Frank Lee says:

    I agree 100% with the article. I loved the old cherry 7up. I drank 7, 2 liter bottles a week. I haven't drank any since the first bottle of the antioxident blend, which is total garbage!! I hope the idiots that make such stupid moves will finally get fired. I'm sure sales have all but died.

  25. Most of these people must be coke and caffeine fanatics. The new diet cherry 7up is awesome. Fail taste, are you kidding me? This soda is ridiculously hard to find not because its not available, but because its FLYING OFF THE FREAKING SHELVES'! I live in Los Angeles , CA a big metro city where there is a store on every corner. I had too go to 3 supermarkets before find a couple 12 packs.Its definitively doing well here , i can see why.That dark cola gets BORING! after so long. People want something different.Not only does 7up diet cherry taste good , but it also looks classy in a glass with ice.

  26. Rema Hunter says:

    I do not like the new cherry 7-up but I really loved the old version I use to stock up when I went to Indiana. I really wish they would bring the old 7-up back.
    Rema from Kentucky

  27. Indianaanna says:

    I just discovered old style non-antioxidant diet cherry 7-up in my store this week!! I was so thrilled to see it was back! It's been 5 years of not buying my favorite soda due to that nasty antioxidant crap. I got online to research if anyone else noticed these changes and found this article. Glad to hear I wasn't the only one upset by the change to the antioxidant formula.

  28. Well I for one loved the new cherry 7-up with antioxidant for real, I hated they took it off the shelves. I went all over Raleigh to try to see if I could find some. I wish ther was something I could do to get some from somewhere. I did stockpile some, but of course I'm out now. So what it didn't stand up to what it said on the label, to me it tasted GREAT!,!!!!

Trackbacks

  1. BevBoard says:

    Cherry 7up now with antioxidants…

    Finally got around to reviewing Cherry 7Up Antioxidant and was fortunate to compare it side-by-side with the old Cherry 7Up.

    Um, what happened? This stuff is not very good.

  2. [...] drink itself is light pink, not as dark as Cherry 7Up or Cherry 7Up Antioxidant. It's also quite a bit lighter than Pomegranate 7Up or one of my personal favorites, Schweppes [...]

  3. [...] Berry attempt, sources indicate that it will borrow a page from the relaunch of Cherry 7Up, i.e. Cherry 7Up Antioxidant, and throw in some vitamins and [...]

  4. [...] been added with varying success, such as the decent 7Up Mixed Berry and the atrocious reboot of Cherry 7Up. I'm not not sure who thought it was a good idea to dress the brand up as a freak show with the [...]

  5. [...] Ironically, the "natural" claims of the 2006 reboot of 7Up got Cadbury Schweppes into trouble with the Center for Science in the Public Interest which threatened to sue the company because the "natural" drink still used high fructose corn syrup. 7Up eventually backpedaled on their claims, changing "100% Natural" to "100% Natural Flavors". They continued this new claim on Pomegranate 7Up and Cherry 7Up Antioxidant. [...]

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