Each and every country in this world has already seen many fascinating and some times bizarre flavors from one of the leading cola maker in the world, Pepsi. But you have to give it to Japan, for their most creative, crazy, inventive and most of the times, bizarre flavors of Pepsi soda. These aerated soft drinks mostly come as a limited edition, but if you are the one who needs numbers to exhilarate, there have been more than 20 different Pepsi editions, sold in Japan, over the last decade.
The latest flavor to make it to this limited edition list of Pepsi was announced in the month of March 2016. And it’s called Pepsi Sakura. You read that right. It’s a floral cherry blossom flavor infused in cola. It’s pink and it looks weird. But a true Pepsi aficionado in Japan knows that this is not the first time that Pepsi has brought in something weird or unique to the shelves of Japan’s market.
Most of the food products and drink makers are introducing a new and rather offbeat variety of tastes and essence, just in the hopes of grabbing the attention of their consumers. Well, it does create a stir in public and since the world is taking notice of these unusual flavors, I think these tricks are working well for Japan’s food and beverages companies. So Pepsi Japan has introduced many many flavors ranging from Salty Watermelon to Icy Cucumber. Let’s have a look at all that Pepsi has offered in Japan in the last decade or so. Some of these were big hits with the people, while some were discontinued due to lack of interest and well, some are just sitting on the market shelves, gathering dust.
It was released on October 2009 and is supposed to taste like Azuki Beans. This limited edition drink was reddish in color and it had mixed reactions from the people. Someone wrote that this “smells like someone threw up their bean cake,” but it tasted much better than its odor otherwise indicated.
It was released on May 2010. It was a limited edition drink that according to the company, had fruit flavors of the Baobab tree, which is native to Madagascar, Africa, and Australia. It’s a nice golden-colored drink and people found it light, citrus-scented and surprisingly, very refreshing. Who wouldn’t love to drink this golden liquid anyways?
Pepsi Black Lemon
It was released in Summer of 2012. It has 50% lesser sugar than a regular Pepsi and is much blacker. Also, it has a lemon flavor in it. People love the pleasant lemon aroma when they open the bottle but that’s the only thing good about this drink. Some people described it’s flavor as “sad” “depressing” and “nothing”. It’s named black for a reason because that’s how it tasted.
Pepsi Blue Hawaii
It was released in the Summer of 2008. This Smurf-like blue colored limited-edition drink had pineapple and lemon flavors. However, this citrus-scented drink was not a big hit with the people. Some liked it just a little while others mostly disliked this one. People said that the first note is not very pleasant, but after a few sips, you start liking it. Reminds me of my review of the Smurfs movie.
Pepsi Caribbean Gold
It was released on July 26th, 2011 in Japan. This limited drink was golden in color, similar to the Boabab version. Again, this flavor was drawn from an unusual fruit called White Sapote which is a small-sized, sweet fruit, native to Central Mexico region. People said it tasted vaguely of peaches and vanilla. But the flavor was really weak. So not much of them were happy with this drink. Plus, it was just a sugar overload because of white sapote fruit.
It was released in the summer of 2006. Tropical fruit flavored limited-edition drink in Japan that was launched in the following year in the United States of America as well.
It was released in Japan on May 24, 2011. People often mistake it to be a sugar-free drink. But instead, this limited-edition drink is non-sweet and does have sugar in it. There is a difference there. It’s rather a bitter version of the cola. People reviewed this drink to be like the watered-down version of the real Pepsi and honestly, not many people are a fan of it. (Imagine putting ice in your cola on a hot summer day and the cola melts into your soda near the last sips, making it watery….Well that’s how it tasted).
It was released 6 months back on October 6, 2015. This limited edition drink was Halloween themed and there were 14 different Pepsi Ghosts available for the consumers. All had unidentified mystery flavors to it and the consumers had to guess themselves as to what flavor they were drinking. It was fun guessing them and people loved the drink, which I think was more out of the curiosity that each Ghost drink had to offer. Certainly a good marketing concept.
It was released in 2006 for a limited time only. It’s golden in color, as obviously, the name suggests. It had a hint of ginger flavor, but nothing compared to Pepsi Red which was released in Japan, the same year. Depends on personal taste really, but I really enjoyed this drink. The gold color was a marketing strategy to promote the FIFA World Cup 2006 and was launched in many countries simultaneously. In 2007, it was launched in much other cricket playing nations, for the promotion of ICC Cricket World Cup of 2007.
Pepsi Ice Cucumber
It was released in the Summer of 2007. It was green in color and was cucumber flavored. Cucumber is really good for your body during the summers. It keeps you hydrated and refreshed. But apparently, this limited edition drink did not. There is a slight taste of cucumber in there. But that is it. It’s weird, the look, the color and the idea of cucumber based soda. It looks similar to my Listerine mouth wash.
Pepsi Mont Blanc
It was released and sold for a very little time in October 2010. This limited edition drink was based on the French sweetened chestnut and a whipped cream dessert called Mont Blanc. It had a creamy chestnut flavor to it and many liked this drink. The color and the flavor looks very tempting, doesn’t it?
Pepsi Nex Zero
It was launched in the year 2010. It’s a simple zero-calorie Pepsi and this one is not unique to Japan. It is available in many countries with different names. I know it as Pepsi Zero. It’s similar to a diet Pepsi and boasts of zero calories.
It was released on November 8th, 2011 for a limited time. It’s actually strawberry milk flavored and is pink in the color. It was released again in 2014, what many say was because of public demand. So obviously, at-least few people loved the taste of this particular drink. It has no cola flavor, just the artificial strawberry essence, and milk flavor.
Before we had the Pink Cola, we had Pepsi Red. It was released in 2006 for a limited time. It was red in color and was kind of spicy. People liked the flavor which was ginger infused in a regular cola. But a spicy-sweet cola will not have many fans, but it was a better drink than the previously mentioned red Pepsi Azuki.
This is the latest one to be launched as mentioned earlier. Launched in March 2016, this cola is infused with the essence of cherry blossoms flavor. It’s pink in color. I am not sure how Japan has reacted to it as it just came out. If you have tried it, then do feel free to let us know your feedback. Honestly, I don’t have high hopes from this flavor. It looks pretty similar to Pepsi Pink Cola but with totally different flavors.
Pepsi Salty Watermelon
Similar to cucumber, watermelon is an excellent fruit to keep you hydrated during the summers. So we have this limited drink based on watermelon flavor with some saltiness to it. It was released on June 2012. It makes a complete sense to use this flavor and infuse it into an aerated soda. This was the best of the lot and many people really enjoyed it. They found it very very refreshing. Oh! I want to try it so bad.
It was released in the Summer of 2009, and as the name suggested, it had the flavors of Shisho. It is a herb that you can find in a variety of Japanese cuisines. The fluorescent green looks like the same that you have for Mountain Dew, so I guess we won’t find the color amusing. This limited edition drink was well received by people, who wanted a bit of herbal taste in their mouth. Personally, I don’t like to try this one. I don’t like the idea of herbs and sweet soda, to be honest.
Pepsi Special Lemon Mint
It was released in the Summer of 2015. This limited-edition drink boasted of having zero calories (but they have 5 calories, which is still very less). With the infused flavor of lemon and mint, this seemed to be a very refreshing drink for summers. It has a Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare’s FOSHU (Food for Specified Health Uses) stamp of approval. It tastes like a regular Pepsi only, with a slight taste of mint and lemon. It’s not the first drink to have those flavors, to be honest. So nothing new or unusual here. However, Pepsi Special is said to contain a special dietary fiber supplement that makes it very difficult for our body to absorb fat while eating.
Pepsi Strong Shot
It was released in the year 2010 and is available still. This limited-edition drink has almost twice the amount of caffeine in every cup and with extra carbonation. It tastes like a regular Pepsi and comes in the Zero Calorie option as well. An interesting fact is the warning label on the can, that suggests you towait for at least 15 seconds to take the first sip, after opening the can. Makes you wonder!
I personally think that this version has been the most bizarre of all the listed versions till now. It was first released in 2008 and had yogurt flavor. It was then again released in Winter of 2012, with a citrus mandarin orange flavor. In 2015, it was relaunched as Pepsi White Cola which had a light citrus flavor, pretty similar to the previous version. And yes, all these were white in color. I would go and have some milk instead, Thank you very much.
These have been some really wild flavors from the world of Japan. I am curious how Watermelon Salt fusion with Pepsi tastes like. Do you have a favorite? Then do let us know. Also, don’t forget to share these crazy flavors of Pepsi that Japan has to offer, with your family and friends. Ask them about their favorite drink too.