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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pepsi Pink Looks Like A Winner

Just when you think soft drink makers in Japan have gone as crazy as they can get - along comes something that makes you go - "Hey! Wait a minute!"

Arriving on my 47th birthday - that's November 8, 2011 in case you want to send gifts! - Pepsi Japan will give the world, well pretty much just Japan, really - Pepsi Pink!

It's actually a blueish-tinged pink cola that smells like, and tastes like strawberry milk.

Now before you get all barfy on me, hear me out. This is NOT a new concoction - at least not entirely new.

Back in the 1970s on American/Canadian television, there was a television show called Laverne & Shirley. (It was a spin-off of Happy Days, which also spun off Mork & Mindy (yes, it did), Joanie Loves Chachi and Fonz And The Happy Days Gang (I never heard of it, either).

Anyhow, Laverne & Shirley was about a pair of adult female friends in 1950s/early 1960s Milwaukee. Here's more about them: SCHMAZZLE. Laverne De Fazio had a favourite drink in this show - a mixed concoction of milk and Pepsi.

Now... despite me being more of a Coke fan, I thought this weird mix was, well... weird... so some time in 1978 when I was 13 or 14, I tried it. It was a 50:50 blend of the two drinks. From what I've heard, the higher the fat content in the milk, the better the flavour. As well... you add the Pepsi to the milk... not the other way around.

And guess what? I didn't barf. In fact... it was actually quite tasty. Tasty enough to have it a few more times - until Coca-Cola caught on and begged me to come back to the dark side... or from the dark side... I can't remember.

Which brings me back from the 1950s or the 1970s or the 1990s when I was in Japan to the 2010s...

Pepsi Pink doesn't sound so far-fetched now does it? Instead of a regular milk flavour - now we're talking strawberry milk flavoured. What's wrong with that? Have you ever tried a Vanilla Coke or a Cherry Coke? Why not a strawberry milk Pepsi ala Pepsi Pink? I would definitely try it if I could get my hands on it here in Toronto!

What's the matter? Chicken? Remember - most Japanese seem to have this little superiority complex... they want to love you, the gaijin (foreigner)... but they also want to prove that the Japanese are unique and are not like a gaijin. So... if this Pepsi Pink is catered to the Japanese, then gaijin brothers and sisters - you must join the party... for when in Edo, do as the Edo-ites do. (Edo is the old name for Tokyo).

Pepsi Pink is a carbonated drink. This is a carbonated strawberry milk drink. Check out the photo above... that is the bottle it comes in... a metal inked label. Strawberry graphics with white polka dots representing the strawberry's seeds or perhaps carbonation or maybe even both now that I've offered that insight to Pepsi.

According to the Suntory press release (Suntory is Pepsi's distributor in Japan):
"The complementary 490ml of “gorgeous pink cola” that fills each bottle makes Pepsi Pink “suitable for the winter party season,” whatever and whenever that may be....Enjoy the rich aroma and refreshing taste of strawberry milk flavored cola."

Read the original press release in Japanese HERE

I'm guessing that in Japanese, this is actually good copy-writing.

Now... what the hell does one eat with Pepsi Pink? I did a little research into the subject (actually very little), and here's what I would eat with my tasty drink:
  • Strawberry Cheetos from Frito-Lay (also part of the Pepsi empire);

  • Hello Kitty's Strawberry Marshmallow (I love like Hello Kitty, so I might sample whatever that adorable mouthless kitty cat tells me to! Mouthless - has she even eaten one of these marshmallows?!);

  • Pocky strawberry biscuit sticks (I love Pocky!); 

  • Strawberry Puff Snacks (looks interesting!);

  • Strawberry KitKat from Nestle (a personal favourite)

Pepsi Pink is yet another in Japan's long line of traditional seasonal offerings of a strange beverage concoction. Check out my old BLOG for more on this.

Come on... you know you want to try it - even if it's just to say you tried it... but this time... I think Pepsi may have a real winner on its hands.

Pepsi (or Suntory)... please feel free to send me a few samples of Pepsi Pink to try. I'll give you an honest opinion and a decent write-up here. Contact me at the e-mail address at the top right of this blog! Do it now! For my birthday! I'll be 47.. and so far, 46 has been down-right sucky. I need a tasty break this winter party season!

Kanpai! (Cheers)
Andrew Joseph


  1. Dude! Pepsi Pink? Here's my expert prediction: Total failure. Compare the packaging with the other pick items you show. The other items all look decidedly "Japanese"... Pink Pepsi looks like, well, I don't know what it looks like.

    This has been the reason Pepsi has sucked in japan for these last 20 years: Terrible marketing and branding.


  2. What you say may indeed be true... you have to know your market. Not being there right now, I can not offer a negative or positive on how they run their marketing... but... personally, I like this year's drink. Will it sell? Yes. But I think it's just people (gaijin) buying it to say they drank it rather than possibly enjoying it. I was like that with fugu, gyu riba, basashi, bear, whale, hachino-ko, inago....