Review: Cherry Vanilla Pepsi


Remember the "Cherry Wars" way back when? You know, when Cherry Coke came out in 1985 and everyone else had to have a cherry product? Pepsi eventually rolled out what they termed Wild Cherry Pepsi in 1988. Dr Pepper toyed in that space with Red Fusion, Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper, and oddly Cherry Chocolate Diet Dr Pepper, until they finally got it right with Dr Pepper Cherry. There was even Cherry RC and Cherry 7Up. And who could forget Coca-Cola Black Cherry Vanilla and the beverage-with-too-long-of-a-name, Diet Pepsi Jazz Black Cherry French Vanilla. Coke's wonder product Zero has a cherry spinoff… Coca-Cola Cherry Zero. And just this year, Cherry Crush has impressed.

So it's not a surprise to see yet another cherry derivative from Pepsi, even if the name is rather unoriginal: Cherry Vanilla Pepsi.

Cherry Vanilla Pepsi

Cherry Vanilla Pepsi

This limited time offering is the first Pepsi cherry flavor to utilize the 2008 Pepsi logo redesign, although Wild Cherry Pepsi is getting a makeover at the same time to match the rest of the lineup. And while Wild Cherry is a permanent flavor, Cherry Vanilla Pepsi will only be with us for a short time, approximately 8 weeks if the buzz is correct.

(Source: Pepsi.com)

(Source: Pepsi.com)

In fact, Pepsi seems to be running a contest called the "Pepsi Summer of Cherry" that will feature both brands of cherry. This new drink is available in standard (read: high fructose corn syrup-sweetened) and diet versions. Of course, Pepsi would prefer that you refer to it as "Pepsi Cherry Vanilla" and "Diet Pepsi Cherry Vanilla", but I don't know anyone on the planet who would call a drink that.

Cherry Vanilla!

Let's start off with the packaging design… which frankly, is quite excellent. Overall, it's sharp. A "swirl" pattern sits behind the Pepsi globe with different shades of red, accented by one "beam" of tan/yellow denoting the addition of vanilla. On this "beam" sits the phrase "Cherry Vanilla". In contrast to Pepsi Wild Cherry — which has a blue cap on the 20 oz bottle, Pepsi Cherry Vanilla features a red cap. In fact, while Wild Cherry's new color scheme is primarily blue with some red accents, Cherry Vanilla plays up the red with just a few shades of blue and tan. While the new Pepsi logo still has detractors (myself included), this is a nice job on label design. Thumbs up!

Upon opening the package you are greeted with what you might expect from this type of drink… cola infused with the smooth scent of vanilla. Nothing too surprising here. Those of you who remember the "Vanilla Wars" (Vanilla Coke, Pepsi Vanilla) will recognize the aroma right away. Despite the name, it's hard to pinpoint any cherry in the smell.

But you want to know about the taste, right? Well, overall, it's good. To be honest, it probably skews more towards vanilla than cherry, though there is a cherry essence in there. For example, you know what an "aftertaste" is, right? Well, let's pretend we also have something called a "beforetaste" as well as a "midtaste" (I know, it's ridiculous, humor me here!). When you first put Cherry Vanilla Pepsi to your lips, you are greeted by a vanilla "beforetaste", followed by a cherry "midtaste", then wrapped up by a vanilla "aftertaste". It's basically a sandwich, with a weaker cherry flavor surrounded by two powerful slices of vanilla.

New packaging on Pepsi Wild Cherry

New packaging on Pepsi Wild Cherry

This drink isn't revolutionary by any means. It's really just the marriage of Wild Cherry Pepsi and Pepsi Vanilla… and that's not necessarily a bad thing. What would have made it innovative, however, would be the use of real sugar (i.e. Pepsi Throwback) to really bring out the clean taste and emphasize the vanilla smoothness+cherry sweetness. I think then we'd have a cherry spinoff to really get excited about!

So, what makes up this hybrid of flavors?

Pepsi Cherry Vanilla
Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, natural flavor, phosphoric acid, potassium sorbate (preserves freshness), potassium citrate, citric acid, caffeine, calcium disodium EDTA (to protect flavor), vanilla extract

Cherry Vanilla Pepsi contains 3.2 mg/oz of caffeine, the same as standard Pepsi. A 20 oz. bottle contains 250 calories, 69 g of carbs (of which 68 g are sugars), and 55 mg sodium.

It's sad that Cherry Vanilla Pepsi is a limited-time flavor, because it's actually pretty good. However, it's probably not different enough to really stand out in the marketplace, which has pretty much killed all the previous cherry/vanilla releases we've seen over the years. It definitely can't co-exist with Wild Cherry Pepsi at the same time over the long haul. However, kudos to the PepsiCo folks on a spectacular job on the visual design, which is probably some of the best example of using the new logo system. Vanilla lovers will enjoy Pepsi Cherry Vanilla due to the dominance of that flavor, but enjoy it while you can… it won't be around forever!

Comments

  1. Any information on regions that this is available in? I'm in middle TN and would LOVE to try and find this.

  2. I was wondering when Pespi was going to get around to killing off the last of the old logo, and I'm quite impressed that they went beyond just a gradient of red and blue.

    love it. Now I can't wait to taste it.

  3. Great review. Wish they had a diet version.

    Also wish Coke had kept making Diet Cherry instead of just Cherry Zero. I know it's technically still produced but I don't see it sold anywhere.

  4. I'm in Pennsylvania, and saw both the regular and diet versions of Cherry Vanilla Pepsi in the checkout coolers at a local grocery store this past week. Will have to give them a try.

  5. Hope it's as good as the Jazz Cherry Vanilla. I loved that stuff and really miss it. Gonna look for it this week at the store!

  6. Hi, I'm in the west indies (Martinique). I'm an intern at a company which sells Pepsi drinks. I would like to know where this type of Pepsi is available please, and if i can import it from somewhere.
    Please, answer me.

    Thanks for this presentation.

  7. I was wondering when Pespi was going to get around to killing off the last of the old logo, and I'm quite impressed that they went beyond just a gradient of red and blue.

    love it. Now I can't wait to taste it.

  8. To me, this smells like either a) someone poured Pepsi into a melted cherry slurpee, or b) a Strawberry Shortcake doll.

    It's gross.

  9. Awesome…….. :) They do make a diet version…just didn't try that one. Was sad to see the Pepsi Vanilla go away…and this stuff is GREAT! Now I just have to see if I can get it locally….and A LOT of it before it goes away.

    And "Yucko"…..there's hardly any berry-type smell at all. More Vanilla than anything, just liek the reviewer above points out.

    Bottom line….get it while you can!

  10. just bought this today, as i first saw it today, and I LOVE it, MT DEW trivial flavors are all WORSE than this, I vote Cherry Vanilla Pepsi for the dewmocracy! :P

    The starting taste is carbonation and a bit of pepsi, and as you swallow you get a vanilla taste and a smaller cherry kick. I like this, I didnt like vanilla pepsi, but this twist with cherry is alot better!

  11. I'm not trying anything new from Pepsi…EVER.
    Why should I bother getting hooked on a limited time product?
    I fell for this once when Pepsi Vanilla got me hooked and then disappeared.
    Hey Pepsi !…….Why don't you stick to what you know and stop teasing your loyal drinkers!?!?!
    I'm tired of liking products only to have them yanked away from me !

  12. Garrison says:

    I love the new Cherry Vanilla Pepsi… too bad it's limited time only, but after that, I'll just go back to the good ole Mountain Dew Code Red. Maybe if they get enough positive feedback, they'd consider keeping it…who knows?

  13. Jennifer says:

    I bought the Diet Cherry Vanilla Pepsi and I love it. In fact, my daughter hates diet pop but loves this. Maybe we can get Pepsi to keep it. It is so much better than the new Mountain Dews!

  14. I've tried a Pepsi Cherry Vanilla in both a 12 oz can and now a 20 oz bottle. This tastes more like a brand of cherry flavored cold medicine I've been using the past few winters.

    I wish the Pepsi Co. would stop screwing around with all the strange different flavors like they have been the past several years. Same goes for all these drinks which they masquerade as 'Mountain Dew'. Now there's 3 more this spring.

    The only 'real Mountain Dew' – or close to it – is the 'Mountain Dew Throwback', which resembles what Mountain Dew is suppose to taste like before they messed with the sweetener back in the 80's. If the Pepsi Co. were to do one thing right, it would be to bring back the Pepsi and Mountain Dew Throwbacks PERMANENTLY, and get rid of all this other pointless crap.

  15. Maria W says:

    I prefer just plain old Wild Cherry Pepsi. There is too much vanilla in this. It tastes to me almost the same as Pepsi Vanilla did, which I didn't like. And… grr… the store where I shop had only this and not Wild Cherry Pepsi.

  16. This is the best Pepsi product I've tasted since Throwback Pepsi was introduced for the second time in January. I was sorry to hear that it will be available for only 8 weeks. I will buy 20 12 packs so that it will last throughout the summer. I have only one Throwback Pepsi can left from the ones that I bought in January. Pepsi, please bring the throwback product back!!!!!

  17. Paula Thumma says:

    I am not much for Cherry Pepsi or just Vanilla Pepsi; however this new Cherry Vanilla Pepsi is the best yet. I almost like it more than plain Pepsi. I found it in the Winn Dixie in Orlando Florida two weeks ago and have really had a hard time trying to find it in the Central PA area. Please don't get rid of this flavor! I love it. Everytime I find a flavor that I like it disappears…

  18. alleyrulez says:

    finally tried it, I like it, though there could be more of a cherry taste. used to LOVE Wild Cherry Pepsi, before they messed with it.

  19. xztreemlymee says:

    I absolutely Love Cherry Vanilla Pepsi!!!!!

  20. My disabled wife loved the Dr.Pepper Diet Cherry Vanilla and can only drink from 20 oz. bottles. Then they stopped making it and along came Diet Pepsi Cherry Vanilla to the rescue just as Dr. P ended and a new loved was born. Next came the news that it has been discontinued (Pepsi Cherry Vanilla -Diet). Why the TEASE – I just found this sight because I wanted to ask why and found that it was a 8 week special that made me even more up set. Marketing people are sick. I'm moving over to the real thing my personal choice. My wife is drinking diet cherry pepsi but doesn't care for it.

  21. i can't believe it…all my local stores stopped selling cherry vanilla pepsi…i loved it….now i know better

  22. The pepsi cherry vanilla became my favorite drink. This is a big tease that this was a limited time drink for only eight weeks. I fell in love with the taste!

  23. it was good bring it back i loved it

  24. Problem Solved!

    Buy the Cherry Pepsi and Vanilla Pepsi

    Mix and Serve Chilled!

    Ta da!!

  25. had Pepsi Cherry Vanilla for the first time today, excellent flavor, great packaging…..this takes it to a new level

  26. time for Coke to say "Uncle"

  27. I have been a big coke drinker but I love the new diet pepsi cherry vanilla but have had a hard time finding it. Too bad its for a limited time. I even get cravings for it and go out to little convenient stores to find a little bottle of it.

  28. I really love the cherry vanilla pepsi I would love to have it a reg flavor

  29. I loved the Diet Cherry Vanilla Pepsi and was very upset when it was taken out the stores. I hope Pepsi brings it back. I have to agree with Terry, we would crave it and would jump in the car at night when we were out just to go find it and when I did i would buy 3-4 12pcks at a time of it. Please bring it back Pepsi!!!!!!

  30. MMM Cherry Vanilla Pepsi

  31. One of our local gas stations was having a customer appreciation day and was giving out 12oz cans of Pepsi Cherry Vanilla. I was able to get 6 of them. Took them home, put them in the fridge, and tried one later that night. I didn't like it at all. It has a strange chemical flavor that tastes like medicine smells. If you have ever used Carmex Lip Balm….well, the hidden chemical flavor in Pepsi Cherry Vanilla tastes like Carmex smells. And, yes, it also has a hint of a flavor of cherry cough medicine. Not good at all. I do, however, LOVE Cherry Coca-cola. Thank goodness at least one of them got it right. Don't get me wrong….straight Pepsi is my all time favorite. But, they bombed on this product IMHO.

  32. P. VanDyke says:

    My husband just loves this but I can no longer find it anywhere. We need to let Pepsi know how great this flavor is….my husband drinks the diet version.

  33. I am so so sad that they have the pepsi cherry vanilla. I tryed it and loved and now its gone! i was hooked and i dont drink any other brand of soda i love pepsi. such a tease!!!!

  34. I miss Vanilla Pepsi! I was walking trough my grocery store yesterday and noticed a case of Vanilla Cherry Pepsi and dropped everything in search of it. It turned out it was the last case and I guarded it like a crazy person on black Friday! It tastes amazing and I hope they keep it around a while!

  35. Harry Lawson says:

    I tried this drink and liked it but there is a litle too much vanilla and not quite rnough cherry in it.

  36. Harry Lawson says:

    Not quite enough cherry, too much vanilla

  37. I LOVE the diet cherry vanilla & now, I cannot find it anywhere!!!! Plain vanilla is not as good. PLEASE BRING IT BACK!!!!!

  38. I tried the cherry vanilla pepsi and loved it . Went back to buy more and was told it was a limited time deal. I lucked out and found two 12 packs at a different market but have been unable to find any more. Please bring this product back it was great.

  39. I tried Cherry Vanilla Pepsi and I just loved it. If I would have known it was only available for a limited time, I would have bought cases of the stuff. I prefer it much more than regular Pepsi. So you can't really taste the cherry, big deal. I love the taste of the vanilla in it. Please bring it back!

  40. I loved the taste……They should bring it back.

  41. I loved Cherry Vanilla. I wanted couple cases last week they had it
    I called Pepsi Supervisor and said any more coming an said NO.
    uhhhhhh
    Was great stuff.
    Come back Cherry Vanila
    I want it. in Iowa

  42. What is wrong you, Pepsi?

    I remember Pepsi Light. It was my absolute favorite but it only existed for a short period of time and I will never forget the way it was yanked unfairly out of my existence. I loved that stuff.

    So Pepsi why would you AGAIN introduce a flavor like Cherry Vanilla for so short period of time? You are a soda tease.

    I know people who are JONESING for the stuff. They loved it (I hated it) and now they can't get any. Well, that just sucks, Pepsi.

    Never good business to giveth and taketh away. Makes one and all feel unappreciated.

    Now I just discovered the Lime Pepsi and I like it. Don't you dare take it away from me anytime soon. I don't think I could take it.

    Carole T.

  43. PEPSI WILD CHERRY maybe new in Canada
    and please keep it in Canada it's pretty good product,as well I would like
    to have the PEPSI THROWBACK come back to Canada
    as well too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  1. [...] we saw a Cherry Vanilla Pepsi was the summer of 2010, when we were greeted by a limited-time run of Cherry Vanilla Pepsi and Cherry Vanilla Diet Pepsi. I liked those flavors quite a bit, and based on the feedback we've [...]

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