Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Mountain Dew Spiked Lemonades

Product circa: early 2017

Mountain Dew really can't seem to give up on its image that it's somehow related to alcohol.  These two "spiked" products now make up a trio of recent Dew products that specifically have to spell out on the packaging that they are non-alcoholic.

Otherwise, these look to be an honest effort on Pepsico's part.  Real sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup.  Real fruit juice added.  No artificial sweeteners.  Let's crack them open and get to sippin'!

Upon tasting, "sour" is the first term that might waft into your mind, or rather, smack you in the head.  The third ingredient in this product is citric acid, the fourth is a lemon juice concentrate, and the fifth is prickly pear juice.  The prickly pear is unnoticeable, but the raspberry pleasantly comes through in the Raspberry Lemonade.  Surprisingly, the regular Spiked Lemonade is better.

The balance is a little off, and the considerable tartness prevents you from tasting quite everything.  It's almost as if this stuff needs a bit more sugar... wait a minute... <looks harder at the ingredient list>

Sigh.  Let it be known that Mountain Dew Spiked is slightly bamboozling you here.  Because of the existence of Stevia, consumers need to be aware that "No Artificial Sweeteners" no longer means "No 0-calorie Sweeteners."  Spiked has both sugar and Stevia, and my taste buds suspected it from the first sip.

Maybe I'm biased, but it's my opinion that consumers can be divided into two groups on this subject: those who like 0-calorie sweeteners, and those who do not.  I don't think combining sugar and Stevia into one product magically bridges the gap between both market segments.

Everything from children's cereal, to baked goods, and now to soft drinks are using sugar-Stevia combinations to bring down calorie counts, and that's fine.  But what's not fine is not conspicuously labeling the addition of 0-calorie sweeteners.

Mountain Dew is choosing not to do that, and while it may increase the number of first time buyers, I bet it will decrease repeat buyers.  Buyers like this guy.

Mountain Dew Spiked Lemonade:- Good
Mountain Dew Spiked Raspberry Lemonade:- Passable