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?

Comments

  1. love to see pepsi clear make a come back loved it.

  2. My memory of crystal pepsi was during soccer games when i was 12… we always had orange slices during halftime and sodas and a snack afte the game. I remember hoping and praying all game long that the person responsible for drinks would bring that AWESOME new clear soda that tasted nothing like sprite. Then when the game was over and the ice chest popped open and that unique can shined up at us, it was bliss!

  3. Crystal Pepsi was awesome.Kids use to sell it in the hallways in Jr High. It confused your mouth because you expect to taste lemon lime, but when you drank it, it was that good ol pepsi taste. Somehow it being clear just made it cooler. CONTACT CONGREE NOW IF YOU WANT CRYSTAL PEPSI BACK.

  4. Lai-Lai says:

    Cinema Snob confirms that "Not See Cola" tastes just like "Crystal Cola."

  5. I loved this drink. I wish it would come back.

  6. Miss Kitty says:

    I loved Crystal Pepsi, though I do have to say…I had it first in Denver, Co where it was awesome…then moved to Arkansas and the flavor wasn't quite the same but still good. I even had a foreign exchange student from Argentina live with me for a month and he thought it was the greatest thing ever.
    I really wish they would bring it back.

  7. Michigan49548 says:

    The majority of responses here "loved" Crystal Pepsi. Although I don't recall having it in Michigan, I'm wondering if it was to great because it was made with real sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup? Like Coca-cola made with REAL sugar, yum. I'm hoping it comes back so I can try it!

  8. I say we start a petition to bring it back!!!

  9. Ahhh… Crystal Pepsi… where to begin…

    Long, long ago in a galaxy way back in the day — my brother and I, used to have a daily ritual of going to the store and buying a 2 liter of Pepsi and a bag of BBQ sunflower seeds (came to about $2 even for the matched set).

    THEN Crystal Pepsi came out…

    We would drink GALLONS of that stuff. Most people who have never tasted it just have no idea… It was like regular Pepsi but it wasn't quite as sweet. It also wasn't as thick and syrupy as regular Pepsi. It went perfect with sunflower seeds and you could drink more of it during scalding hot California summers without getting that "too much soda" feeling.

    One day, I went to pick up our daily 2-litter and they were all gone. Extinct forever. I was baffled. I thought everyone loved it, but it turns out that it was a "major flop".
    I blame Sammy Hagar. Remember the "Right Now" commercial they did for Crystal Pepsi? I didn't think so…

    Anyways, I wish I would have kept a few bottles.

    It still makes me wonder though, people were quite a bit different 20 years ago when it came to beverages. Today people try to drink ANYTHING that isn't "officially" considered "soda". Usually bottled water or nasty vitamin water type stuff.

    It seems to me that if beverages like Crystal Pepsi, New York Seltzer, etc. were to make a come-back (and were marketed correctly) they may have another beverage revolution on their hands.

    The whole deal is, I like soda too, but they're just so SWEET, that I can't drink them like I used to. Even Arizona iced tea and Snapple (who is trying to make a come back) taste more like sickeningly sweet Kool-aid than juice. A bottle of mega sweet, diluted corn syrup is that LAST thing I want to drink on a hot day.

    If someone came back around with something that was reasonable (like Crystal Pepsi was) ADULTS would buy it… maybe.

  10. sebastian says:

    I was not even born yet in 1996 ): I wish Could of tried it make a come back pepsi you will have people like me and other people stock pilling it till all your employes are millionares

  11. I use to love crystal pepsi, it was my all time favorite, its a shame that every time we actually had something worth having they got to take it away bring it back!!

  12. Who knows…maybe they'll bring it back now that there's an uproar about the possibility of caramel coloring in sodas causing cancer.

  13. PLEASE BRING IT BACK! I WAS THREE YEARS OLD WHEN YOUR COMPANY DISCONTINUED IT! BRING IT BACK!

  14. Please bring back crystal pepsi it was better than any pop product i was ten when it came out would love to see it again

  15. Ryan hatch says:

    Please bring Pepsi clear back, I want a clear soda again!! Doesn't stain teeth

  16. My memory of Crystal Pepsi is being a preteen-teenager who would go to the mall with her dad every friday nght. He would give me some money and I would go off by myself……down to the little "convenience" store inside the mall and get me a Crystal Pepsi and a whatamacallit candy bar……yumm!

  17. I remember when my Mom brought home our first 2 litter of clear, we had been waiting on it for weeks. I loved it! I drank it everyday you could buy it. I can remember going to our fridge and getting me a cup of that fine soda, I lived in a big house on 5th st in Ironton Ohio and will never forget that time of my life, and the clear made it that much better. I wish they would bring it back, cause not only would I be getting a soda that I have missed since it was gone, but it would bring back wonderful memories!

  18. They may well be bringing it back since the FDA has now concluded that a chemical found in the caramel coloring of colas (Coke, Pepsi.. all brown Cola's) causes cancer. In CA they are now either going to have to list a warning that the product may cause cancer (like saccharine, Tab) or get rid of the caramel coloring all together.

  19. I can remember crystal pepsi as well! i was around 13 when it was launched in germany and i absolutely loved it! the taste was just awesome.
    i tend to say that the taste was even better than the normal pepsi…

    i absolutely wish they would bring it back!
    HEY PEPSI CO. BRING THE CRYSTAL BACK!! YOU HEAR ME???

  20. To be honest, I was born in 1992 so I never grew up with the drink. But I happen to own an extremely rare maxi-single that seems to promote the drink. It's called Crystal Pepsi – Trance From Outer Space released in Germany

    http://www.discogs.com/Crystal-Pepsi-Trance-From-Outer-Space/release/2085591

    I can't believe such thing exists. The style is early trance which many of you are probably unfamiliar with the Genre. to summarize it shortly: Some electronic dance music with the ever cliched female vocal pronuncing: The taste… of Crystal! Crystal Pepsi!! And a male vocal speaking in German which I don't understand. Funny thing is I ask the seller who rare it is. He told me it's so rare that almost no Pepsi fan knows of it. Quite a Bargain for only 3 Euros.

  21. I remember the clear Pepsi so clear because I don't drink dark soda and everybody around always talking about Pepsi so when they brought out the clear Pepsi I was like yes! This is for me my I could drink Pepsi and its not dark but now its gone and I was 17yrs old….. Now when I bring it up people look at me like I'm crazy and I'm telling them it was clear Pepsi out so please bring the Pepsi clear back out I guess I remember it because like I said I don't drink dark soda so please Bring PEPSI CLEAR BACK I WOULD BE SO HAPPY LIKE I WAS WHEN I WAS 17 😉

  22. please bring back crystal pepsi I really loved it and miss it. It was better than any other soda on the market then or now

  23. Joan B Dykes says:

    Please bring back Crystal Pepsi we loved it. with all the concern about carmel coloring in colas why not???

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