Crystal Pepsi

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Crystal Pepsi
12 pack of Crystal Pepsi cans
Crystal Pepsi Promotional Print
Type Clear cola
Manufacturer PepsiCo
Country of origin United States
Introduced 1992
Discontinued 1993
Variants Diet Crystal Pepsi, Crystal From Pepsi, Pepsi Clear
Related products Pepsi, Pepsi Blue, Tab Clear

Crystal Pepsi was a caffeine-free soft drink made by PepsiCo from 1992 to 1993 in Canada and the United States, and for a short time in Australia. Crystal Pepsi was sold for a longer time in Europe.


In the early 1990s, a marketing fad equating clarity with purity began with the remake of Ivory soap from its classic milky solution;[1] the idea spread to many companies, including PepsiCo. Crystal Pepsi was marketed as a caffeine-free "clear alternative" to normal colas, equating clearness with purity and health.[2] Its marketing slogan was "You've never seen a taste like this".[1]

In 1992, PepsiCo introduced Crystal Pepsi to test markets in Denver, Sacramento, Dallas, and Providence,[3] and the product generated a positive response.[2] Pleased with the results, PepsiCo launched the cola on April 12, 1992,[4] and began to sell it nationwide in 1993. A large marketing campaign was launched, for which the company invented the world's first photo-realistic, computer-generated bus wrap printing. 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.[2] Another marketing ploy was to give out full sized sample bottles with the Sunday paper deliveries such as the Boston Globe in Massachusetts. In its first year, Crystal Pepsi captured a full percentage point of U.S. soft drink sales, approximately $474 million.[5] Coca-Cola followed suit by launching Tab Clear on December 14, 1992.[6]

Initial sales were good but quickly fell.[7][better source needed] By fall 1993, Pepsi pulled the drink off the market, and the final batches were delivered to retailers during the first few months of 1994. Pepsi returned several months later with a reformulated citrus drink titled Crystal From Pepsi, but this was short-lived as well.[8]

Pepsi Clear[edit]

In 2005, a new clear Pepsi was sold in Mexico as Pepsi Clear for a limited time. On August 22, 2008, PepsiCo filed for trademarks on the product names "Pepsi Clear" and "Diet Pepsi Clear".[9]


Yum! Brands Chairman David C. Novak is credited with introducing the Crystal Pepsi concept. In a December 2007 interview,[10] he stated:

It was a tremendous learning experience. I still think it's the best idea I ever had, and the worst executed. A lot of times as a leader you think, "They don't get it; they don't see my vision." People were saying we should stop and address some issues along the way, and they were right. It would have been nice if I'd made sure the product tasted good. Once you have a great idea and you blow it, you don't get a chance to resurrect it.

Revival Speculation[edit]

In September of 2014 The Coca-Cola Company re-introduced the soft drink Surge, leading to speculation in the public and amongst media about the return of Crystal Pepsi.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Garber Jr, Lawrence L. Color as a Tool for Visual Persuasion, p313. Essay included in Persuasive Imagery ed. by Linda M Scott. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2003. ISBN 0-8058-4202-0
  2. ^ a b c Zyman, Sergio. The End of Marketing as We Know It. Harper-Collins, 1999. ISBN 0-88730-983-6
  3. ^ Business Digest and Bloomington, Illinois. The Washington Post, April 14, 1992
  4. ^ "Business Digest". New York Times, April 13, 1992
  5. ^ Janofsky, Michael. "Pepsi Tries New Diet Cola Abroad". New York Times, 2 March 1993.
  6. ^ Bryant, Adam. "Coke Adds a Clear Cola To Its New Age Stable". New York Times, December 15, 1992
  7. ^ Simonson, Itamar. Will I Like a Medium Pillow? Another Look at Constructed and Inherent Preferences, p18 (Research Paper 1977-R1). Stanford University Graduate School of Business, 2007
  8. ^ Brody, Aaron L and John B Lord. Developing New Foods for a Changing Marketplace, p62. CRC Press, 2000. ISBN 1-56676-778-4
  9. ^ "Is Pepsi Clear the return of Crystal Pepsi?". Retrieved 8-11-09.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help); Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  10. ^ Kate Bonamici Flaim, Winging It, 19 Dec. 2007, Fast Company (magazine) at accessed 29 Sept. 2009
  11. ^

External links[edit]