clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

With Crystal Pepsi set for a comeback, here's why the original failed according to its creator

New, 103 comments

The dream of the '90s is alive in PepsiCo

Crystal Pepsi is rumored to make a comeback, according to a letter from Pepsi sent to competitive eater Kevin Stahle (below). AdAge contacted the soda maker and received verification of the letter's authenticity. The news should excite people who were not alive before 1993, or were alive and have a fondness for one of the shortest runs of Pepsi products.

Why did Crystal Pepsi only last from 1992 to 1993, you ask? Excellent question. The answer is quite simple: it didn't taste good. Don't take my word for it. David Novak, the man who conceptualized the clear sugary drink, commented on his monstrosity in a 2007 interview with Fast Company:

"It was a tremendous learning experience. I still think it's the best idea I ever had, and the worst executed. A lot of times as a leader you think, 'They don't get it; they don't see my vision.' People were saying we should stop and address some issues along the way, and they were right. It would have been nice if I'd made sure the product tasted good. Once you have a great idea and you blow it, you don't get a chance to resurrect it."

Novak will sort of get that chance. The former soda innovator is currently the Executive Chairman of YUM! Brands, a spinoff of PepsiCo's fast-food business.