In March, Pepsi announced that 2 new versions of Mountain Dew Game Fuel would be hitting the marketplace for a limited time this summer. Themed to tie into the World of Warcraft massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), a citrus red version and a wild fruit blue version were created. Today we take a look at Mountain Dew Game Fuel Alliance Blue.
Unlike Mountain Dew Game Fuel Horde Red, which is a return of 2007's original Game Fuel flavor, Mountain Dew Game Fuel Alliance Blue is all new… at least according to a Pepsi representative when we inquired about the flavor. Their quote: "Alliance Blue is a completely new flavor developed specifically for this launch." Thanks to the addition of Alliance Blue, I guess Game Fuel has become a multi-flavor franchise for Mountain Dew!
Having hit the stores here in June, it's officially available for 8-10 weeks. Based on the June 8 date of Pepsi's press release, that ends the run between August 3-17, most likely dependent on local supplies. For those wondering, the original Mountain Dew Game Fuel had a 12 week run.
Like Horde Red, this Mountain Dew flavor features the new "Mtn Dew" spelling noted in the revised logo. As I mentioned previously, it's a curious inclusion given that we've seen the official rollout of the DEWmocracy winning beverage Mountain Dew Voltage — which is being shipped using the old style Mountain Dew logo — even though there are filed trademarks and logos for the spelling "Mtn Dew Voltage".
Given that this drink is pretty much a marketing promotion for World of Warcraft, that's what Pepsi has been emphasizing when promoting Alliance Blue. The company probably devotes 2-3 sentences to the drink in the announcement press release, touching solely on the fact that "Mtn Dew Game Fuel is available in two varieties that represent the opposing factions of the game: citrus-cherry-flavored Horde Red and wild fruit-flavored Alliance Blue" and "Mtn Dew Game Fuel will be available in 20-ounce single serve bottles and 12-packs of 12-ounce cans from June through the summer. A full slate of advertising will support the product's launch with TV and radio spots created by BBDO NY and digital from Tribal DDB."
The primary color scheme of Alliance Blue is blue and black, with a yellow/orange logo that uses the "Mtn Dew" logo with a sharp, angular style. The World of Warcraft logo prominently appears above the Dew logo, while a small subtitle denoting "Dew with a Punch of Wild Fruit Flavor" sits towards the bottom.
Nowhere on the label is the promoted flavor of "Alliance Blue" actually mentioned. In fact, on Pepsi's own product facts website, they refer to this flavor as "Mountain Dew Game Fuel – Wild Fruit". If you keep reading on facts website, it's noted that "Wild Fruit flavor represents the Alliance, who fight to restore order to the war-torn world of Azeroth." Despite the freaky eyes found on the main character showcased via the Alliance Blue label, I still think it's an improvement over the green thing pictures on the Horde Red label. As I've mentioned, I don't play in the World of Warcraft universe, so if someone would like to identity this character in the comments, you are more than welcome to do so!
Looking at the color of Mountain Dew Game Fuel Alliance Blue, it's a very nuclear blue. We're talking the type of hue that you'd typically associate with Easter egg coloring kits. What, did PAAS make a deal with Pepsi or something? The color is brighter than that you'd see in Mountain Dew Voltage, bolder than last summer's Mountain Dew Revolution, and probably closest in look/feel to Pepsi Blue. The look of this drink is most definitely going for that highly surreal, artificial hue.
When you open a bottle or can, the smell you are greeted with is rather sweet, with a hint of berry. The taste, however, was surprising. Given the blue coloring, I expected quite the berry flavor. To be honest, it was quite muted, rather dull in flavor. I wouldn't say it was the same formula as Mountain Dew Revolution, but the lightness of the fruit flavor was on parallel with that. Interestingly, it wasn't an overtly BLUEberry flavor. The packaging notes that this is a "wild berry" drink, and frankly, if you closed your eyes and drank it, I think you'd have a hard time telling it apart from Mountain Dew Code Red. It's just that neutral.
I'd argue that Alliance Blue tastes more cherry is basis than the implied Horde Red flavor. Call me crazy! But as we speculated when this drink was announced, you really do have to wonder if Alliance Blue has some sort of shared heritage with Mountain Dew Revolution. The one thing you can't miss is the aftertaste, which is quite fake and syrupy. The carbonation level was probably not as strong as normal Dew, while the acid level seemed to be lower as well. It's not a great flavor of Dew, and I don't think it could sustain itself as a regular entry. Then again, I didn't think Mountain Dew Voltage was sustainable either… yet it's the newest permanent line extension… go figure!
Mountain Dew Game Fuel Alliance Blue
Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, natural flavor, sodium benzoate (preserves freshness), gum arabic, caffeine, sodium citrate, glycerol ester of wood rosin, calcium disodium edta (to protect flavor), Blue 1, brominated vegetable oil, Red 40
A 20 oz. bottle of Mountain Dew Game Fuel Alliance will cost you 280 calories (10 less than Horde Red), and give you 105 mg of sodium, and 76 g of carbs — all of which are sugars.
The Game Fuel lineup is known for its high caffeine content and Alliance Blue doesn't disappoint with 6.0 mg/oz. Actually, if you increase the number of decimal places, it looks like Alliance Blue (6.125 mg/oz.) may have just a tad bit more caffeine than Horde Red (6.000 mg/oz.). These numbers are higher than original Mountain Dew's 4.5 mg/oz., while Coke's Vault has 5.875 mg/oz. Though higher than regular Dew, Alliance Blue is still clear of energy drink territory, where Red Bull has 9.64 mg/oz. and Monster clocks in with 10.00 mg/oz.
The return of Mountain Dew Game Fuel supports Pepsi's strategy of short-term line extensions to build interest around their brands. Dew has quite the track record in this area, having seen more spin-offs than probably any other PepsiCoproduct. For example, do you remember these limited-time flavors?
- Mountain Dew LiveWire (Summer 2003, full time in Summer 2004)
- Mountain Dew Pitch Black (Halloween 2004)
- Mountain Dew Pitch Black II (Halloween 2005)
- Mountain Dew MDX (2005)
- Mountain Dew Game Fuel (Summer 2007)
- Mountain Dew Supernova (Summer 2008)
- Mountain Dew Revolution (Summer 2008)
- Mountain Dew Voltage (Summer 2008)
- Mountain Dew Throwback (Summer 2009)
Unlike the returning Horde Red which was a repeat of 2007's original Game Fuel, Mountain Dew Game Fuel Alliance Blue is a new flavor for the summer of 2009. Surprisingly not very berry-tasting, the muted flavor profile was actually a notable element that we liked. Unfortunately, it was hampered by an unpleasant syrupy aftertaste.