Is Pepsi Clear the return of Crystal Pepsi?


Update 12/31/2010: It would appear that Pepsi has abandoned their trademark claims on “Pepsi Clear” and “Diet Pepsi Clear”, per the US Patent and Trademark Office. That would seem to put the nail in the coffin for the return of this beverage.


Back in July, we were doing some trademark searches to see what might be found in the world of new beverages (much the same way we discovered Diet Mountain Dew Ultra Violet).

Pepsi Clear / Diet Pepsi Clear / Crystal Pepsi
Pepsi Clear and Diet Pepsi Clear?
(Name Source: US Patent and Trademark Office)

Of interest were these two filings from PepsiCo:

Pepsi Clear (77553297)
Filing Date: August 22, 2008
Published for Opposition: December 30, 2008
Date of Status: March 24, 2009

Diet Pepsi Clear (77553299)
Filing Date: August 22, 2008
Published for Opposition: December 30, 2008
Date of Status: March 24, 2009

So what’s the big deal, this is the old Crystal Pepsi from 1992-3, right? Actually, nope! What’s different with the above trademark filings is that they are currently live in the USPTO database. The old Crystal Pepsi trademarks (74321835, 74321837) for “Clear Cola Crystal Pepsi” have been abandoned and are dead.

Crystal Pepsi - 12 Pack
12-Pack cover of Crystal Pepsi
(Source: Wikipedia)

So what does this mean? Is this the return of Crystal Pepsi? Who knows. We’re just presenting the information here… though the trademark filings and tweets from our friends at Salute To Soda might hint that direction (Emphasis ours):

We are working on a MAJOR development from one of the big soda companies. Let’s just say things are about to get a little more clear.

Pepsi Clear (Mexico)
Pepsi Clear logo used in Mexico
(Source: pepsi.com.mx)

Regarding the name Pepsi Clear, it’s not entirely new. For a short time in 2005 or so, a product named Pepsi Clear was marketed in Mexico as a transparent cola, but that appears to no longer be available. However, it is a product that has the same name as what is currently showing up in the trademark searches.

Pepsi Clear Website (Mexico)
Screenshot of Pepsi Clear contest website used in Mexico
(Source: pepsi.com.mx)

Click for larger image

Translation of website text via Google:

Win a kit Clear Pepsi … The only drink cola, transparent.

All you have to do is answer simple trivia about Pepsi Clear, and if you are one of the first to answer correctly, be one of the winners!

To participate you must be registered at www.pepsi.com.mx. Even if you do not win, enter your data and participate in all our promotions.

Pepsi Clear Ad (Mexico)
Pepsi Clear advertisement used in Mexico
(Source: pepsi.com.mx)

Click for larger image

Which leaves us not a lot to go on, so we might as well just remember the Crystal Pepsi era, whether or not it returns again. For those who don’t remember, here’s an excerpt from Wikipedia:

Crystal Pepsi was a soda made by PepsiCo from 1992 to 1993. It was marketed as a caffeine-free “clear alternative” to normal colas, equating clearness with purity and health. Its marketing tagline was “You’ve never seen a taste like this”. However, the taste was not significantly different from other colas; unlike other colorless soft drinks, which usually have a lemon-lime flavor, Crystal Pepsi tasted much like the original Pepsi.

In 1992, the product came to test markets in Denver, Colorado; Sacramento, California; Dallas, Texas; and Providence, Rhode Island and had a positive response. Pleased with the results, PepsiCo launched the cola on April 13, 1992, and began to sell it nationwide in 1993. A series of television advertisements featuring Van Halen’s hit song “Right Now” premiered on national television on January 31, 1993, during Super Bowl XXVII. In its first year, Crystal Pepsi captured a full percentage point of U.S. soft drink sales, approximately $474 million. Coca-Cola followed suit by launching Tab Clear on December 14, 1992.

Initial sales were good but quickly fell. Pepsi pulled the drink off the market and returned several months later with a reformulated citrus drink titled “Crystal From Pepsi”, but this was short-lived as well.

Crystal Pepsi Bus
Bus with Crystal Pepsi advertising
(Used by permission via spudart.org)

Crystal Pepsi Memories
Do you remember Crystal Pepsi? What are your memories of that uniquely clear drink? Post them in the comments and share them with others! Here’s one to start things off from BevReview reader BJ Wanlund:

When I had that first Crystal Pepsi, it was unlike any other drink I have ever had before or since. I took one sip, and almost thought I was in heaven. This incredible clear cola was unlike any soda I’d ever tasted, either before or since that time.

Crystal Pepsi Memories from eBay
Crystal Pepsi items from eBay
(Used by permission via spudart.org)

While it’s been over 10 years since I last had a Crystal Pepsi, I can comment on the taste. The taste of Crystal Pepsi is very unique, and only two drinks since Crystal Pepsi shuffled off into the sunset have come even close to replicating the unique taste of Crystal Pepsi: Diet Rite Pure Zero Cola and the recent Pepsi Throwback. I daresay that the Pepsi Throwback actually got pretty close to the old Crystal Pepsi taste, what with the natural sugar blend they put in there.

What are your memories?