A short-lived cult soda from the '90s returns this summer.
PepsiCo announced the comeback of Crystal Pepsi this week. The Purchase, New York-based soda company said the translucent soda will be available in the U.S. and Canada later this summer.
Crystal Pepsi will be available for a limited time, beginning July 11 in Canada and Aug. 8 in the U.S. It will be sold in 20-ounce bottles at major retailers.
The soda was sold for a brief time — from 1992 to 1994 — before it was pulled from store shelves because of lagging sales. But it ultimately developed a cult following over the years, with a #BringBackCrystalPepsi movement gaining steam online.
After months of speculation, Pepsi brought the crystal-clear soda back late last year as part of a contest for members of its brand loyalty program. Thirteen-thousand six-packs of the soda were awarded to 13,000 winners. Many ended up on eBay, where some are still selling for well over $100. An original 16-ounce bottle was listed at $149.
"We've always had a special place in our heart for Crystal Pepsi, and there has been a huge groundswell of support to bring it back," marketing director Stacy Taffet said in a statement this week.
The return of Crystal Pepsi comes as Pepsi's sales are lagging behind Coca-Cola. Just this week, PepsiCo said it will reintroduce aspartame to some of its beverages less than a year after pulling the artificial sweetener as part of a marketing move. It was met with backlash from fans who said the new soda didn’t have the same flavor.
To seal the deal with the '90s nostalgia crowd, Pepsi said it's kicking off the "Summer of Crystal Pepsi" with the release of "The Crystal Pepsi Trail" online, a take on the popular '90s computer game "The Oregon Trail."
"What better way to celebrate this iconic 90s cola than to introduce a new take on one of the most beloved games of the decade. Totally rad!" Taffet said.
In a well-timed coincidence, Hi-C Ecto Cooler is returning to store shelves this week. The bygone Ghostbusters-themed beverage was introduced in 1987 and eventually pulled from store shelves in 2001. Like Crystal Pepsi, the neon-green drink also developed a cult following over the years. It’s marketed by Coca-Cola.