During Summer 2014, Dr Pepper Snapple Group has released a limited time offering of 7Up Tropical, available in a unique 16 oz can size. They’ve also rolled out regular Lemon-Lime and Cherry flavors in the same larger size.
Now, the last time we saw a U.S. release of a “tropical” 7Up flavor was back in 2006, when the now-discontinued 7Up Plus line offered an Island Fruit flavor. It was tolerable, with a orange flavor and sweetened with sucralose.
7Up Tropical brings us back to high fructose corn syrup in an attempt to broaden the appeal of the 7Up brand with more flavors. Other than the many reboots of Cherry, most new 7Up flavors have been short-lived, including Pomegranate and Mixed Berry. DPSG instead has put a lot of emphasis on their “Tens,” including 7Up Ten.
I like the use of the 16 oz can packaging. It’s a nice update to give 7Up a more modern feel, given the popularity of that size with energy drinks. The use of orange/yellow coloring and patterns also does a nice job presenting the different approach of this flavor. The 7Up logo is still front-and-center, but it’s easy to see at a glance that this is something different. The cans I purchased here in Chicago were bilingual, English & Spanish.
Tropical is light orange in color, but highly translucent, like most flavored 7Up entries. The scent definitely hints as something “tropical,” but not quite citrus. Instead, there’s a heavy emphasis on melon and peach smells.
As for the flavor, it’s hard to place, though I’d say that the peach and melon flavors are joined by hints of pineapple and papaya. This isn’t a light citrusy flavor (because, frankly, that’s what regular Lemon-Lime 7Up is all about), but rather more of a nuanced, robust, and bold addition to the lineup. That said, I’m not sure I like it all that much. The aftertaste is rather mucky, in that you aren’t quite sure what you just drank.
That said, the flavors do seem to go after a niche owned by the likes of Jarritos, with a notable attempt to target the Hispanic palette. Perhaps this is a growth area that 7Up sees they can go after here in the States. The brand is far more diverse flavor-wise worldwide, where its rights are owned by PepsiCo. In the U.S., however, DPSG has been more subtle in rolling out flavor extensions (aside from that crazy dnL experiment!). They already have so many fruit-oriented products in their portfolio, but it is nice to see them try to add something new to this vintage lemon-lime brand.
In short, 7Up Tropical is refreshingly different, but scatterbrained in flavor. I wish the finish was cleaner and less syrupy. However, kudos for trying something new for a limited time!
7Up Tropical 16 oz
Filtered carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, potassium benzoate (preservative), natural flavors, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Red 40.
A 16 oz can contains 190 calories, 50 mg sodium, and 51 g carbs (50 g sugars). Caffeine free.