Pepsi Throwback Is Here To Stay… For Now

While Coke swears there is no difference in taste between Coke made with High Fructose Corn Syrup and Coke made with cane sugar, Pepsi continues to give credence to the opposite side of that argument. The beverage company has announced that plans to sell its sugar-sweetened Pepsi Throwback and Mountain Dew Throwback sodas as long as people buy them.

“We’ve put it back in the market and we’ll see where it goes,” the PepsiCo CFO told reporters last week about Pepsi Throwback.

It is not clear if this means PepsiCo will attempt to expand the number of outlets currently selling the Throwbacks. Many readers have said they are unable to find the drinks in their areas.

The Throwback news comes at the same time as PepsiCo threw its weight behind promoting its new sugar-sweetened Sierra Mist Natural by giving out 10 million cans of the soda at Walmart stores.

Pepsi, Mountain Dew Throwback return to shelves [Motley Fool]


Edit Your Comment

  1. wiggie2gone says:

    Mountain Dew Throwback is so good. Wish they would sell it in glass bottles again like the cane sugar coke.

    • buzz86us says:

      I freakin love Mountain Dew throwback it is like regular Mountain Dew only the taste is less dull.

    • tbiscuit360 says:

      The new MD Throwback is terrible compared to the first one they came out with only a year prior. They added a lot of new ingredients for some reason- don’t know why!

      • ellemdee says:

        What I’ve read is that the first Mountain Dew Throwback run was the 80’s recipe and the last two Throwback runs were the 60’s recipe (the one with orange juice). I didn’t try the first run, but I LOVE the one that’s out now. It tastes like a totally different product than regular Mountain Dew.

  2. El_Fez says:

    Now if only they did Pepsi natural all the time. That shit was *AWESOME* with a capital AWE.

  3. clownsRcreepy says:

    God I love the free market. If people will buy it, pepsi will sell it.

    • Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

      What a concept! Too bad too many companies choose to ignore that fact. (I’m looking at you Target).

  4. MaxSmart32 says:

    No longer do I have to stock up when it comes around! Yay!

    • Salty Johnson says:

      True that. I’ve always had several cases of Pepsi Throwback and Heritage Dr Pepper laying around for those times that they’re between batches. Now let’s hope DrP/Snapple group makes the same kind of announcement, because Heritage Dr Pepper is like an orgy of hot lesbians in my mouth.

      • Keavy_Rain says:

        I know nothing about you, but I feel the need to propose marriage based solely upon your use of the phrase “Orgy of hot lesbians in my mouth.”

  5. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Begun, the Throwback Wars has.

  6. full.tang.halo says:

    Pepsi, adhering the the famed and mystical laws of supply and demand. As long as you keep demanding it, they’ll keep supplying it!

  7. dolemite says:

    Sounds smart to me. Now watch Coke change their stance and try and come off like a hero. “Well, the people have spoken, so we’ve decided to sell sugar Coke!” “Umm…maybe it was because people started buying the pepsi products.”

    I’d love to see what Mr. Pibb with sugar tastes like. The Dr. Pepper is a totally different flavor from regular. I’m not sure if I liked the Mt. Dew throwback though.

    • Sanspants says:

      I still have yet to find the Dr. Pepper with sugar, which is lame because I love Dr. Pepper. Does anyone know where to find some in the Boston area?

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        Find a area where Pepsi makes Dr. Pepper. When they make Throwback, they usually make the Dr. pepper w/sugar as well.

      • JayPhat says:

        Go to your CVS, have the manager ask his pepsi rep for it. You’ll have to buy 2-12 packs but thats not that bad.

        • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

          Unless in your area Coke bottles Dr. Pepper.

          • JayPhat says:

            True, that does blow then. My Pepsi rep is an awesome guys. Lives in town, knows everyone and their mother, stops in three or four days a week, and works with me on anything I want because “You’re the customer. When you’re happy, i’m happy.”

    • dangermike says:

      I haven’t tried the anniversary Dr Pepper yet, but I just wanted to say that something happened to the standard Dr Pepper a year or two ago that I just don’t like. It used to be one of my favorite sodas but now it has an almost maraschino flavor to it. Like… it tastes more red now where it used taste more brown, for however little sense that makes. It’s sweeter and fruitier than I remember. If the sugar formulation brings back the taste I grew up with, I’ll buy a pallet of the stuff.

  8. Foot_Note says:

    okay if coke says dont need to make real coke(with real sugar), then howcome they make the “special” passover(or whatever the religous day) coke?

    • ReverendLoki says:

      Completely different reason. The motivation behind the Throwback Pepsi/Dew is that consumers prefer the taste. The driving force behind Kosher (for Passover) Coke is to meet the religious dietary requirements of some of their consumers (as in, corn is not kosher for Passover). It’s just a happy coincidence that so many of us non-Jews can take advantage of this occasion.

    • Xtopher says:

      I don’t drink soda often nowadays, but when I have a craving for a Coke, I go to the “ethnic foods” aisle at the supermarket. There’s always plenty of Coke made with sugar (comes in 500ml glass bottles with Spanish writing on it). It rings up as “Mexican cola”, haha.

    • akacrash says:

      Are you really that ignorant?
      You mention that they make it special for a holiday (passover, as you point out.)
      How big of a leap of logic is it for you to figure out that it’s a holiday related dietary restriction?
      HFCS is not kosher for passover.

  9. Power Imbalance says:

    What idiot at Coke thinks they taste the same, I’ve been a long time Coke drinker but that pisses me off!

    • sqlrob says:

      The guy responsible for New Coke?

    • haggis for the soul says:

      The same liar who told us that “New” Coke tasted better than “Old” Coke. Bring back old Coke with sugar.

      • vastrightwing says:

        Exactly. Coke has some kind of issue with meeting consumer demands. That’s OK because there are plenty of alternatives out there.

        And just because the Coke executives can’t tell HFCS from real sugar doesn’t mean consumers can’t tell the difference. Real or imagined differences exist.

    • dangermike says:

      I don’t recall anyone saying that it tastes the same but rather that if someone in the US wants sugar Coke, it’s available as Mexican Coke.

      Granted, this is somewhat of a cop-out and failure on Coke’s part since Mexican Coke isn’t extremely widely available (usually only in ethnic stores), and is packaged only in glass bottles which are expensive, inconvenient, and hold less than the now-typical 12 oz serving. (although I do notice a difference in taste even when there purportedly isn’t a difference in formulation which I’ve always ascribed to the sloughing of whatever kind of coating is used to protect aluminum cans from the soda and vice versa)

  10. samonela says:

    Any plans for an Aquafina throwback?

  11. StuffThingsObjects says:

    I would like ‘throwback’ Cherry Coke.

  12. Jfielder says:

    Yay! I have pretty much stopped drinking soda, but if I ever do treat myself to one (maybe once every week or two) you better believe it’ll be made with real sugar.

    • snowmentality says:

      Same here. On the rare occasion when I do drink full-calorie soda, I definitely choose the cane-sugar stuff. It’s a much more satisfying treat.

  13. framitz says:

    Big difference in flavor, but they forgot to add the cola flavoring. Not the Pepsi I remember from the 60’s.

  14. Bativac says:

    I don’t understand why anybody at Pepsi would think the new logo and packaging design looks better than the “Throwback” styled logo and box. Sometimes you have a logo that just works and there’s no need to change it.

    • Kavatar says:

      I miss the old logo. It reminds me of Little League baseball games.

    • dangermike says:

      Maybe they have a really good marketing team and realized that there is definite demand for a sugar-based product and perhaps even legal tension mounting that may eliminate the business advantages of using corn syrup. In light of these possibilities, planning a strategy of debasing the current product only to replace it with a “classic” “rebranding” can bolster market share even while political tides are turning against their products.

      Whoever called those shots is either genius of incredibly lucky.

  15. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    Has anyone ever documented a blind taste test of the sugar vs. HFCS versions of several drinks?

    I’d like to know if there’s a statistically significant chance that people can tell the difference…rather than placebo.

    I’m all for sugar instead of HFCS. I’m just not convinced that the “amazing” taste difference is primarily in our heads.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I’d like to see the same thing.

      I can remember reading an article about 15 or 20 years ago that claimed that the vast majority of people can’t tell the difference of Coke vs. Pepsi based on taste only. It further claimed that the majority of blind taste testers couldn’t tell the difference between Coke and Sprite.

      I think there is a subtle taste difference between sugar vs HFCS. But then again, there’s a certain amount of nostalgia for me. Drinking a glass bottle with the old style labels really remind me of being a kid.

      • YouDidWhatNow? says:

        I know whether I’m drinking Coke, Pepsi, or RC (RC FTW!), and I agree on the nostalgia bit. I just think it would be really interested to see a true double-blind, properly controlled study on sugar vs HFCS.

    • kabloink says:

      I really don’t think it’s in our heads. HFCS has a distinctive aftertaste that isn’t present in sugar. It always reminds me of cough syrup.

      It’s possible that most people don’t notice the aftertaste and I am a freak of nature.

    • adamstew says:

      I think you’re right. I can’t tell much of a taste difference between HFCS Pepsi and Sugar Pepsi…I think it’s mostly psychological…but that IS an important difference…

      You could feed someone a bowl of ground up bugs, and call them a “rare exotic delicacy” without telling them that it’s a bowl of ground up bugs. A person might take a bite and love it… they’ll then eat a lot more and tell you it’s really good. Then you tell them it’s made of bugs and you can watch how quickly their opinion of how good it is changes.

      I think the same thing is happening in reverse with Pepsi Throwback. People have been seeing a lot of news reports lately about how HFCS is worse for you than sugar. So they are “tasting” their psychological preference for sugar based drinks instead of HFCS based drinks. Just by knowing that it’s a sugar based drink, it tastes better.

      And I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. Studies have shown that, all things being equal, HFCS is a lot worse for you than sugar.

      The only reason we were using HFCS instead of sugar was because HFCS was cheaper and people COULDN’T taste the difference.

      My preference is for Pepsi Throwback…I too feel like it “tastes” better. But i’m attributing that taste preference to psychological reasons.

      • Preyfar says:

        Does it taste better? Yes and no.

        It’s a little sweeter, but the tastes are similar. I’ve done blind taste-tasting, and I can tell a difference. Not huge, but it’s there. The biggest difference I can taste is in the texture. Sugar drinks are smoother, less acidic and feel more pleasant in my mouth. They’re also sweeter. HFCS drinks feel “sticky”, and leave my mouth with a weird filmy-taste. Similar to aspartame diet sodas. I drink something with aspartame, and I taste that shit five hours later. HFCS makes my mouth feels slightly dirty.

        I don’t get that same experience with sugar. It’s smoother, and the taste is more crisp. Ask a person to drink Pepsi HFCS and Pepsi Sugar, and most people with an alert sense of taste will tell you there’s a difference. They’re both Pepsi, but something’s different. I know this because we did this with my friends. =P Most people picked the Throwback as the better of the two, but they couldn’t explain why until we told ’em.

        We’ve been experimenting with this as part of my caffeine blog.

    • dolemite says:

      Here was my blind test. My wife walked up and asked if I wanted a sip of her Dr. Pepper. I said sure (back of the can was facing me). I took a sip, eyes got big and said “What’s this? A new flavor?” Flipped the can around and she said “no, they just put sugar in it.”

      At the time, I wasn’t even aware of the sugar-only products.

    • Mom says:

      They can’t get a statistically significant number of people to tell which is Coke and which is Pepsi. I doubt HFCS Pepsi vs Sugar Pepsi will be any better.

    • Donathius says:

      I’ve done (admittedly non-blind) side by sides of HFCS and sugar Mountain Dew, and the sugar tastes a lot better to me. The HFCS Dew almost has a bitter taste comparatively.

    • The_IT_Crone says:

      I wasn’t even aware of the existence of different sugars when I tried them, and preferred the real sugar ones immensely.

      Maybe it’s like cilantro. Some people love it, to some people it tastes like soap. It’s apparently about genes.

    • Stahi says:

      To me, Pepsi Throwback is tons better than regular Pepsi.

      Mt. Dew throwback? While it’s good, it’s got the “something’s missing..” taste and I’m sad to admit that I prefer the regular Mt. Dew. I’ll buy 12 packs of the Throwback Pepsi, but maybe only a bottle of the Mt. Dew throwback.

    • TheUncleBob says:

      Consumer Reports/Consumerist, you have your next article.

    • JohnG says:

      Well, last year when they had it for a limited time, I bought cases of Pepsi throwback and before that I only drank Coke and Dr. Pepper. If a restraunt had Pepsi on tap and no Dr. Pepper, I would drink ice tea. So, basically, Coke has been ditching a customer by telling me that I can’t taste the difference and sticking with corn syrup.

      One day, I get home for dinner and take a sip of the soda my wife had ready for me and something was off. I asked if she switched detergents in the dishwasher or something because the soda. Turns out, she tried to pull a fast one and had bought a case of regular pepsi because “it was 12 cents a case cheaper” at the place she went.

  16. arsenicookie says:

    damn. pepsi throwback made me over ride my household soda ban… looks like we’ll have to lift it again.

  17. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    Give em cane sugar Pepsi. That’ll hold the little SOB’s.

  18. captadam says:

    I don’t really care about whether it has sugar or HFCS (they’re both bad for you), but I am really digging the logo.

  19. jojo319 says:

    I would be curious to see how it would impact sales if they still used the modern graphics, etc…. Just put “with real sugar” or something like that prominently on the 12-pack. I think people would switch in droves.

  20. Grogey says:

    Fist Pump, YES!!!!!

  21. Jerem43 says:

    I do not like HFCS Pepsi, it has a more bitter after taste than the sugared Pepsi. I can actually drink the stuff. The new Sierra Mist is wonderful as well, especially the cranberry one. Mexi-Coke is a whole notch above regular coke,especially with the glass bottle that does not impart an off taste like cans and plastic bottles do.

  22. bigdirty says:

    Ever since Red Bull Cola came about, I haven’t had a regular (or Throwback) Pepsi or Coke. The difference in quality is just astounding, and I can’t turn back.

    • tdogg241 says:

      I love the taste of Red Bull Cola, but it costs too much to have it on a regular basis. Sometimes I just need a little caffeine boost to get me through the afternoon and I’d rather drop $0.50-0.75 on a can of Coke/Pepsi (preferrably Throwback) than $1.29 on a RBC.

  23. mandys08 says:

    woohoo! I live in Atlanta about 3/4 mile from the Coke building, but I will switch to Pepsi for my occasional soda treat. The sugar does taste better

  24. swarrior216 says:

    Now if they would just bring back Crystal Pepsi…

  25. Fjord says:

    Bought some couple of months ago and it does taste different. I like it better. Will buy if available.

  26. icntdrv says:

    I’ve been trying to buy it since it was released. None of the markets in my area stock it.

  27. vdragonmpc says:

    Watch for the Dr Pepper its called ‘anniversary edition’ and its great. Everyone has bought out the sugar Dr Pepper when it is put out so it is very hard to find. I see it in bottles but the cans go like crazy.

    You would really think there would be more Dr Pepper running around as wild as folks are over it. Did you know there is a special Dr Pepper from Dublin Texas that has ALWAYS been sugar? We get that from relatives and let that in the door.

  28. PingPongDarts says:


  29. Hank Scorpio says:

    Too bad I can never find it. Once in a while, the Target by us has it. More often than not, they don’t.

    Our Dominick’s NEVER has it.

    I’ll stick with Boylan’s, or the generic version of it Trader Joe’s sells, until Throwback is more readily available.

  30. Rocket says:

    Now bring back Pepsi Blue, I loved that stuff!

  31. lostdisk says:

    This Makes me SOOO happy. I don’t know about the rest of the world, but I know I can taste a difference, and when I found it I stocked up on throwbacks about a month ago.

    I have found throwbacks at my local grocery store (Pick N Save) and Target just had a huge promo here when I stocked up at $2 per 12 pack.


  32. redwall_hp says:

    Yay! There is a significant difference in flavor. Throwback has a much more mellow flavor and it feels less “sticky.” I even did a side-by-side test. The difference in Dr. Pepper is even bigger. In the classic/heritage/anniversary Dr. Pepper you can taste a fruity flavor that is almost completely missing in regular HFCS Dr. Pepper.

  33. Speak says:

    About 1 month ago (beginning of September) I stocked up when my local grocery store had a sale on Pepsi products. Last week they had a sale again and they didn’t have any Throwbacks. I am glad I stocked up when I did because who knows if it will be available any of the stores I frequent.

  34. theblackdog says:

    I hope Pepsi starts offering throwback in the 2-liter size.

  35. kc2idf says:

    I am reminded of the time I asked the makers of various vegetarian meat substitutes about genetically-modified content.

    One manufacturer (Morningstar Farms) said they try to avoid using GMOs, but could not say with certainty that they had gotten everything. While not what I was hoping for, this was a reasonable answer.

    The other that I had inquired of (Boca) insisted that there was no difference. This was the wrong answer.

    If the customer is asking for it, it sort of indicates that there is a market. Corporations should be looking for markets to explore (or exploit, if you will). Pepsico and Morningstar Farms get this; Coke and Boca do not.

  36. medfordite says:

    The HFCS has been bothering my wife for quite some time now with soda’s. We discovered that it was the culprit behind her massive stomach cramping and issues. When she stopped drinking soda with the HFCS in it, she was fine. We switched back as a test, and sure enough, it was the HFCS in it.

    Now though, we are totally staying away from sodas starting yesterday – maybe a diet one here and there, but pretty much at present are embarking on a diet/exercise plan. :) I know – right before the holidays, but what a better way to test your will power than a sink or swim test at the relatives house when pie/cake/goodies are shoved in your face? I say if you can beat that, then you can do anything!

    I am glad to see the HFCS is starting to lose ground somewhat in the Soda Market though – Maybe, they should do what Pepsi is doing – and that is keeping both on the shelves. Just like Diet is to Regular Soda – you have a choice. Just add another one that’s all. Now…if they can just bring back the Crystal Pepsi. – JUST KIDDING!

    • LBD "Nytetrayn" says:

      Same problem here, which is why this pleases me.

      Tried to go with diet, but that apparently helped lead me to another problem– kidney stones!

  37. Donathius says:

    There is a WinCo store in my area that has pallets of both Pepsi and Mountain Dew Throwback 12 packs. Now I guess I can stop stocking up on Mountain Dew and just buy it when I run out.

  38. Sparkstalker says:


  39. LadyTL says:

    I don’t get why everyone thinks there is only cane sugar in the Pepsi throwback. It’s more likely to be beet sugar which is easier to get in the states in mass quantities, probably from Canada. It doesn’t actually say cane sugar on the can, just sugar.

  40. lawnmowerdeth says:

    Now Coke needs to bring back OK Soda.

  41. RosevilleWgn says:

    HFCS is *really* bad for you. Not to say the end product of the Pepsi throwback is “good” for you, but at least it doesn’t have that corn crap in it.

  42. stint7 says:

    The odd thing is, I like HFCS Pepsi more than Sugar Pepsi. It could be my taste buds are wrecked. However I love Mexican Coke and I don’t normally like Coke at all.

  43. disposable says:

    pepsi throwback is wonderful with rum imo.. though i really which holiday spice pepsi would come back more. delicious stuff, still have an empty can of it (and surge for that matter)

  44. Tiandli says:

    If Coca Cola thinks there’s no difference in flavor, then it doesn’t sound like they even drink their own product.

    Pepsi Throwback will be getting sales from me, even after Coke finally wisens up and offers their product with sugar. Do NOT try to tell your customers there isn’t a difference when we know there is one.

  45. One-Eyed Jack says:

    Excellent news! We’re fans of the Throwback Pepsi, Mtn. Dew, and Dr. Pepper.

  46. Themaster73 says:

    Note: Pepsi Throwback is NOT the 1970s formula, notice the Citric Acid is missing.

    If you want to taste the ‘other’ sugar Pepsi (with Citric Acid), you will have to wait until Passover.

  47. The Moar You Know says:

    I’m a daily soda drinker. Not the best habit, but it beats smoking.

    Pepsi Throwback: for the first time in thirty years, I’m buying Pepsi, not Coke. I’m not a Pepsi fan, but the sugared Pepsi is far better than HFCS Coke is.

    So now I end up drinking Coke only a few weeks a year, when I can get the Passover version or feel like forking over 8 bucks for a six-pack of Mexican Coke. Hey, I’d rather buy Coke all the time, but if Pepsi is going to give me what I want and Coke won’t, well, then screw ’em.

  48. pot_roast says:

    Oh, good. I hope that Dr Pepper does the same with their real sugar can version. (I’m in Texas, I know all about Dublin Dr Pepper, but they don’t sell it in cans around here and I’m not paying $10/case to buy it direct.)

  49. legolex says:

    Thank you! I think the Throwback Mt. Dew needs some tweaking though.

  50. mmeetoilenoir lurktastique says:

    Is it wrong that I let out a little squeal when I read this? Wheeeee!

  51. mommajan says:

    I am so thankful that Pepsi brought back the Throwbacks! Thank You Pepsi for listening to us!!!! I may be old school but the taste is sooooo much better with real sugar. Now is only they would bring back the glass bottles. Bring back the glass bottles and it will create more jobs. Love my Pepsi and Mt. Dew throwbacks. Glad that I don’t have to stock up now!