What's this 'Pibb Xtra' shit? My favorite soda's being replaced!!

The whole carbonated beverage world about to go on it's head.

As many of you know I'm a big fan of Mr. Pibb soda, which is the Coca-Cola Company's brand of Dr. Pepper. Sadly it's a tough bird to find, we have it here in Southern California, but only at fountains, not in cans or bottles. It was back in 1994 when I was in high school that I first found Mr. Pibb, that and Mello Yello were only 39 cents a 16 oz bottle. For a high school kid that's like heaven on earth, really.

But now I read, on the Coca-Cola website that they're replacing Mr. Pibb. With Pibb Xtra - "a bolder taste to match your lifestyle".

Just how do they know how "bold" my lifestyle is?!?

"In 2001, Pibb Xtra was introduced in Houston and Dallas with an intense flavor kick -- a bolder version of the original taste. Its bold taste and graphics appeal to young adults who are looking to get the most out of life and the most out of their soft drink. Based on its tremendous success in Texas, Pibb Xtra will replace Mr Pibb across the U.S. in 2002."

See, this is just bullshit. The problem is Mr. Pibb is a niche cola. It's never going to be national brand, because of the Coca-Cola Company. In most markets Coca-Cola bottlers license Dr. Pepper. (Contrary to popular belief Dr. Pepper isn't owned by Pepsi, it's actually owned by the Cadbury Schweppes group, who also own 7-Up). But in some markets Pepsi licenses Dr. Pepper, so Coke made up Mr. Pibb.

The Top Ten Sodas by Market Share (2001)

From Beverage Digest

This chart is somewhat misleading, however, Dr. Pepper has a 6.2% market share nationally, whereas Mr. Pibb has somewhere around a 0.3% market share. But that's because Coca-Cola bottlers are distributing Dr. Pepper and helping it grow!

I just don't understand what Coke's deal is.

It's the same with Mello Yello, which is a Mtn. Dew knock-off. The own it, they bottle it, yet then they go an create Surge. It's just a green Mello Yello!! Why go to all of the trouble to create and maintain two of the same soda?

If I were Coke I'd just market and advertise the sodas which I have, and not worry about replacing Mr. Pibb or creating anything new. But, oh no, they've gone in the other direction.

This week Coca-Cola introduced Vanilla Coke to the world. Yup.

Also this week came the announcements of Pepsi Blue, Dr. Pepper's Red Fusion and SoBe's Mr. Green. No, I'm not making this up. It's just too good.

Vanilla Coke was supposed to be on shelves starting, well, Wednesday. I haven't seen it, but I haven't looked, either. Supposedly it's a cream soda-ish take on Coke. We'll see how that plays. It sounds like it could be good, or very, very gross.

On Tuesday the 7th Pepsi-Cola North America announced Pepsi Blue, a blue-colored, berry-flavored extension of its trademark Pepsi, coming this summer. Pepsi Blue is the latest in a string of new sodas Pepsi-Cola has introduced in the past two years to boost lackluster sales. Other recent additions include Sprite/7-Up knock-off Sierra Mist, the lemon-flavored Pepsi Twist and red-flavored Mountain Dew Code Red.

Dr. Pepper's Red Fusion, coming in July, has "a variety of fruit flavors, including the basic flavor profile of Dr. Pepper," whatever that means. I think it's just a rip off of Mountain Dew Code Red.

Meanwhile, Pepsi's SoBe just introduced Mr. Green, a dark green-colored soda which has a taste reminiscent to Dr. Pepper. Everyone's just ripping off everyone else, it seems.

Rumor has it that Sprite Remix is in the, well, mix, for summer, as well.

So now I lose my favorite soda and gain five or six rip-offs of sodas that I already don't drink. It's going to be a long summer.

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Last Updated on: May 17, 2002

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