News: Pepsi, Dew Throwback return in 2011 for 4th limited run, perhaps extended beyond 8 weeks


As we noted earlier via Twitter and Facebook, both Pepsi Throwback and Mountain Dew Throwback will return for a 4th limited time run starting at the “end of February/early March.” This has been confirmed per a conversation we had today with Andrea Foote at Pepsi’s corporate offices.

Pepsi Throwback (2011, 4th Wave)
Pepsi Throwback (2011, 4th Wave)

Given that many bottlers deploy products on their own schedule, you may already be seeing the drinks in your area.

Mountain Dew Throwback (2011, 4th Wave)
Mountain Dew Throwback (2011, 4th Wave)

Once again, the officially stated plan is an 8-week run of product, which roughly ends sometime in April 2011. The story of Pepsi Throwback and Mountain Dew Throwback is starting to sound like a broken record. The pattern usually goes like this…

  1. Announce drink
  2. Everyone gets excited
  3. Everyone buys drink
  4. Drink goes away
  5. Everyone wonders when drink will return
  6. Drink returns
  7. Repeat as needed

However, this time around, things may be a little different. Take a look at the packaging from the 3rd Wave of Throwbacks (Summer/Fall 2010) when compared to this 4th Wave (Winter 2011). Here is the Pepsi design:

Comparison: Pepsi Throwback (2010, 3rd Wave) vs. Pepsi Throwback (2011, 4th Wave)
Comparison: Pepsi Throwback (2010, 3rd Wave) vs. Pepsi Throwback (2011, 4th Wave)

Not to be outdone, the Mountain Dew design:

Comparison: Mountain Dew Throwback (2010, 3rd Wave) vs. Mountain Dew Throwback (2011, 4th Wave)
Comparison: Mountain Dew Throwback (2010, 3rd Wave) vs. Throwback (2011, 4th Wave)

Notice anything missing? The references to “Limited Time Only” have been removed from the packaging. Does this mean that Throwback has returned permanently?

Not necessarily, per our conversation with Pepsi’s communications folks. This is still slated to be another limited 8-week run of product. However, they told us that a decision will be made very soon whether than run will be extended throughout the year. At this point, that decision has not been finalized (most likely based on sales, etc.). But the change in packaging seems to help them position the drink for a longer stay should that be approved.

What Stays the Same?

This 4th Wave of Throwbacks uses the same formulas as the previous Wave we saw last year. This means that Pepsi is pretty much the same as it always has been, using the denoted reference to “real sugar” (which is actually a combination of cane and beet sugars). The Mountain Dew mix is the same that was introduced during the 2nd Wave (December 2009) and used again during the 3rd Wave (Summer/Fall 2010). Those of you who loved the original Dew Throwback from the 1st Wave are out of luck still.

For the most part, the package design remains the same as it was for the 2nd Wave and 3rd Wave.

What’s Different?

If you are looking to tell the difference between an older Wave of Throwbacks vs. this new release, the best way to do so is to look for the reference to “Limited Time Only”. This new 4th Wave of Throwback has removed that phrase from the packaging.

Comparison: Pepsi Throwback (2010, 3rd Wave) vs. Pepsi Throwback (2011, 4th Wave)
Comparison: Pepsi Throwback “Yellow Ribbon” 3rd Wave vs. 4th Wave

In the case of Pepsi Throwback, that means the yellow “ribbon” banner that denoted Throwback is shorter than previously seen.

Comparison: Mountain Dew Throwback (2010, 3rd Wave) vs. Mountain Dew Throwback (2011, 4th Wave)
Comparison: Mountain Dew Throwback “Top Red Band” 3rd Wave vs. 4th Wave

For Mountain Dew Throwback, the red band at the top of the label is now blank.

Comparison: Mountain Dew Throwback (2010, 3rd Wave) vs. Mountain Dew Throwback (2011, 4th Wave)
Comparison: Mountain Dew Throwback “Bottom Red Band” 3rd Wave vs. 4th Wave

We’ve also noted that the red band at the bottom of Dew’s label has decreased in height.

Pepsi Throwback Calories Per Can
Pepsi Throwback: Calories Per Can

Additionally, to conform to new FDA regulations, you’ll note a small badge on the front label areas denoting “X Calories Per Can”.

Mountain Dew Throwback Calories Per Can
Mountain Dew Throwback: Calories Per Can

This new addition calls out 150 for Pepsi and 170 for Mountain Dew.

As always, keep checking in here at BevReview for the latest Throwback developments.

Other Throwback coverage on BevReview.com: