Showing posts with label Diet Mountain Dew. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Diet Mountain Dew. Show all posts

Saturday, February 17, 2007

My pops are browned

Those of you who followed the arm flailing, bloodshot-eyed war against PepsiCo seemingly spearheaded by Bo and myself about a year ago, probably remember that I gave up caffeine entirely in protest in early May. I did relatively well with it for several months, but a couple of months ago, I mindfully (as opposed to compulsively) started drinking what I call the browned sodas, or pops as we often call them in North Dakota and Minnesota. I needed a jump start to get me through these winter doldrums because I suffer from a moderate case of what is probably SAD. And instead of better diet and exercise or a trip to the Bahamas, I figured caffeine from diet soda was my best bet. Boy howdy! Addiction is back in fashion, and I'm sporting it like Kate Moss hoovering up a line of coke the length of a football field.

Before I go, let me leave you with a diagram of the beverage pyramid for your reference and health.

Sunday, May 28, 2006


A lot of you probably don't regularly read the Diet Mountain Dew section of my blog, but in late February, PepsiCo changed the formula of my most beloved soft drink to use a blend of Splenda and other sweeteners to make it taste like Mountain Dew. No warning. No courtesy of a reach around. Nothing. Long story short, I, along with several thousand other people, were quite pissed. In any case, after nearly 4 months of an online petition, call-in and letter-writing campaigns, and other movements, the first sales figures came out, and it was a crushing blow. Sales of the new formula are up 17% compared to the old stuff. That combined with the fact that my time and interest for maintaining the fight had waned significantly led me to officially throw in the towel on Friday.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The final Diet Dew

I just finished my last original formula Diet Mountain Dew. I captured the moment on my cell phone camera (seen to the right), and I'll post some more photos later if they turn out.

This is the end
Beautiful friend

This is the end
My only friend, the end

Of our elaborate plans, the end

Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
I'll never look into your eyes...again

-The Doors, "The End"

*Jeremy collapses in tears, banging his head on the desk on the way down, and lies unconscious in a growing pool of blood gushing from his scalp*

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

A sad Diet Dew party

I realized I did nothing to celebrate, or rather mourn, the one month anniversary of the day I found out my precious Diet Mountain Dew had been laid to rest in favor of its bile-tasting Splenda'ed up successor. So I threw myself a sad little Diet Dew party. I didn't have a cake, so I substituted an empty can of OFDMD. I also didn't really have any regular birthday candles or a "1" candle for 1 month, but I had a "2" from when my brother turned 24 a few years back. I didn't want to blow through my remaining supply of Dew, so I chugged bloody marys until I passed out at the kitchen table. It was then that Boba Fett tried to rob the Diet Dew can of its sweet nectar. Too late, Boba Fett. PepsiCo beat you to the punch.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Fight For Flavor: Radio Free Jeremy

Though it was with a small AM country radio station in rural Arizona, not exactly the likes of KROQ or even Minneapolis' own 93X, my radio interview was a fun experience. They called me at about 10:10 am Minneapolis time, or 8:10 am AZ time. All said, the conversation probably lasted 15 minutes.

The questions were fairly standard--how did long I've been drinking Diet Mountain Dew, how much I drink, how and when I found out, etc. The host, Keith, evidently just found out about the change a couple of weeks ago. Coincidentally, he discovered it on the air and commented about how his Diet Dew tasted funny. Taste tests ensued (funny, because we actually had a taste taste where I work, too--believe it or not, it wasn't my idea!). I got a couple plugs in for and the petition, and thus my 4 seconds of fame came to a close.

All in all, I'd say I was so-so in the intervew. I wasn't 100% mentally on my game this morning. The conversation was easy and open, but I expected to be ribbed a little bit about my obsession. Problem was that the host was equally obsessed, so perhaps I should have been giving him a good-natured hard time instead. *grin* Though he did throw me for a loop at one point. He claimed that he sometimes nukes his Diet Dew for a warm cup of it and suggested I do the same for those cold Minnesota mornings! I joked that such an act was almost sacreligious, but that I would try it if it weren't for the fact I have a limited supply left. Nuked Dew! Why?????

Fight For Flavor: Aspartame cleared of cancer link

For the foil hat wearing conspiracy theorists out there, you can quit flapping your gums about aspartame's link to cancer. This article on reports on a study of over 560,000 people that found no link to aspartame and cancer. So keep chugging that original formula Diet Mountain Dew 'til it's gone without fear.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Me on the radio tomorrow - KLPZ 1380 AM in AZ

UPDATE - I'm scheduled to be on the air tomorrow at about 10:10 am central (8:10 am Arizona time).

Anyone out there within listening range of KLPZ 1380 AM out of Parker, AZ? Sounds like they might want me to gab about the Diet Mountain Dew thing on their morning show Tuesday or Wednesday morning. The first person who can send me a decent-sounding recording of the whole piece (I'm told 15 to 20 minutes) gets their choice of a 12-pack of original formula Diet Mountain Dew shipped at my expense or a gift card for a restaurant chain of your choice (one that sells cards through its website like P.F. Chang's, Applebee's, etc.). Gift card amount will be determined by how much work I have to do to convert it to an MP3. Send me a tape? You'll be lucky to buy an appetizer. Send me a CD? Appetizer. Send me a wav file? Um...maybe almost enough for an entree at Chi Chi's. Send me a clean, good quality MP3? An entree and a soft drink at T.G.I.Friday's or B.G.McPuffybutt's or whatever.

And nope, this isn't GNAHHHH either.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Fight For Flavor: Victory!

I am bursting here, people! I was just emailed a link to this press release that went out yesterday. Why didn't anyone tell me sooner??? 8-D We have our old Diet Dew back.

PURCHASE, N.Y. (PRNewswire) - PURCHASE, N.Y., March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, in response to overwhelming consumer demand, Pepsi announced it will reintroduce its previous formula for Diet Mountain Dew as "Diet Mountain Dew Subzero" on May 31, 2006.

Diet Mountain Dew was recently revamped with a new taste featuring a blend of sweeteners including Aspartame, Sucralose and ASK (Acesulfame Potassium). The reformulation was met with much fanfare and packages of the product were stamped with the slogan "Tuned Up Taste".

"We've received very positive feedback on the Tuned Up Taste of Diet Mountain Dew, but were surprised at the volume of consumers who still crave the original formula. We had planned on reintroducing it as a new product late this fall, but have decided to move up production to show our appreciation to our loyal customers," says Frank Cooper, vice president of flavored soft drinks, Pepsi-Cola North America. Cooper was also quoted as saying, "April Fools, chumps!" He then hopped into a waiting stretch limo, went home, drank a Big Gulp-sized martini laced with flecks of gold, and took a nap in a large nest fashioned from several million dollars in tens and twenties.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Diet Mountain Dew Formula Change Petition

May 26, 2006

The End

I hate to break it to you, but the war is over, folks. With the first few months of sales of the new Diet Mountain Dew up 17% (in convenience stores) compared to the previous incarnation, it's clear that our voices are a whisper in gale force wind. We always knew we were in the minority, but it's hard to argue with sales. Sure, this could be a surge due to the novelty of the new formula, but the what's clear is that getting the old formula back is now almost certainly a lost cause.

Thanks so much to all of you who have been amazingly supportive and generous with your precious personal time throughout this campaign. Of particular note is Bo Williams at He's been a hugely active and good-humored ally in this battle, almost from day one. To all of you others who called and wrote letters to PepsiCo, emailed your friends, posted on message boards, and spread the word as much as you could, I thank you, as well.

It's been a wild ride. Several thousand people have visited this site since the beginning of March, and more than 2,000 have signed the petition. I've been interviewed on the radio and by the Wall Street Journal (which, I was supposed to keep hush hush until the article was published, but I don't think it'll be printed at this point). I've heard from hundreds of people from all around the country and was amazed that not only am I not the only Diet Dew fanatic out there, there are people light years beyond my level of devotion (not to mention levels of consumption!).

Since this site is actually part of my existing blog, I will leave the pages up indefinitely, but don't expect much in the way of Diet Mountain Dew updates in the future. If you'd like to read some of my non-Dew writings and tirades, check out my main blog at Fair warning, I kept things pretty clean and tame on the Dew pages, but I have a bit of a potty mouth otherwise. *grin*

Try not to take it too hard. On the one hand, there's certainly much more to life than the taste of a carbonated soft drink. But if everyone rolled over and invariably gave up the moment someone took away one of our small pleasures in life, then we'd be living in a pretty gray world. It's been fun. It's been real. And now it's time to move on.


Diet Mountain Dew Survey by
(see survey results)
Fight For Flavor FAQ (the problem and the solution)
Archive of previous postings

PepsiCo Phone In II: "The Deuce"
Attention all original formula Diet Mountain Dew fans! Feeling disenfranchised by PepsiCo's decision to not only change the formula, but take the beloved old formula off the market completely? Now is your chance to tell PepsiCo how you feel.

Call PepsiCo Consumer Relations on Monday, May 22: 1-800-433-2652

Be sure to check out Bo Williams' tips for calling.

May 15 -- Can we do it? I think so. As I type this, the number on the petition is sitting at 1,997. Today, coincidentally was my personal deadline for getting to 2,000. Now here's a goat scratcher--does it count if I removed several duplicates and inappropriate (or obviously fake) signatures over the last couple months (note the lines that say things like signature deleted, signature voided, etc)? I'm going to say for the purposes of the goal that it counts, but I am not going to send the petition to PepsiCo until we have at least 2,000 actual signatures. I'm going to give it until the end of the week at least.
May 10 -- Sorry it's been so long since I've posted. I was in California on vacation for nearly a week. I'm back, I'm refreshed, and I'm ready to keep fighting despite the fact that as of Sunday, I am completely caffeine free. Not a drop of caffeine (save that naturally occurring in chocolate!) since early Sunday morning when I had a mocha at a coffee shop in Sonora, CA.

I've received several emails asking what I will do once we hit 2,000 signatures. For starters, I should point out that my end goal is not 2,000 signatures. My goal was 2,000 signatures by May 15th. From there, obviously I hope it keeps growing! But once we hit 2,000, I will compose a letter to various big wigs and departments at PepsiCo and enclose a printout of all 2,000+ signatures. They are already aware of this website, but I want to make a statement.

Also, while I was gone, an anonymous conspiracy-minded kook left a comment railing against the contents of diet soda. Of all the dozens of comments below, only 3 or 4 have been of that nature. Word to the wise--comments on this site are moderated, and I will reject comments containing wackjob conspiracy theories about aspartame, splenda, BVO, etc. This is not a site about debating matters of junk science. It's about the flavor of a soft drink. Lighten up.

In other news, I turned 30 years old today. Happy birthday, me! *grin*
May 3 -- I've downed my final original formula Diet Mountain Dew (photo included).
May 2 -- The final countdown has arrived. I have a mere THREE original formula Diet Mountain Dews left in my possession. Given that I've decided to give up caffeine entirely if I can't have my Diet Dew, and I'm currently down to 2 cans a day (from 7 or 8), these three will last me through tomorrow, and that will be the end.

I knew this day would come. I even recently passed up on several opportunities to buy a few 12 packs of OFDMD. I'd rather just rip the bandage off instead of prolonging the pain.

Today I also noticed a crapload of hits coming to this page from Iowa State and some Iowa ISPs. Thanks to one of those visitors for letting me know what was going on. Turns out a professor at Iowa State mentioned the site in an email to his students.
April 25 -- DEWSPLOSION!! Oh, the humanity! This morning, as I went through my daily ritual of loading my Diet Mountain Dew cans into the fridge at work, one of them fell from my hands, hit the floor and EXPLODED. Precious original formula Diet Dew dripped from the walls, covered the fridge, splashed my pants, and soaked into the carpet. But I'm (not far) above getting down on my hands and knees to lap up the precious nectar from the carpet. I have some dignity left.

Incidentally, I'm down to 4 cans a day from my high of 7 or 8 cans. I plan to be decaffeinated entirely sometime next week. If I can't have my OFDMD, then I shan't drink any caffeine at all!
April 18 -- 1,700 signatures on the petition! Well ahead on momentum for meeting our goal of 2,000 signatures by May 15th.

As Bo Williams pointed out, PepsiCo isn't going to change its mind overnight and suddenly rerelease original formula Diet Mountain Dew to store shelves tomorrow. The pace of a huge company like that will be slow. Any decision to rerelease OFDMD would be preceded by countless phone conferences, memorandums, and meetings. We need to be realistic and measure in months rather than days or years.

I said I would give up caffeine because of this, and I'm staying true to my word. Believe it or not, I have actually passed up the opportunity to purchase quite a bit more old school Diet Dew as I think it's best just to barrel forward headfirst into kicking caffeine now rather than later. By the time I slowly cut back my intake to 0, my supply of DMD will be nearly depleted.

Now, now. Don't be sad. Don't look at this as me giving up. I'm simply preparing my body for what could be several months of Dewlessness. In the meantime, we need to keep on top of PepsiCo with calls, emails, and telegrams ("NEW DIET DEW SUCKS STOP BRING BACK THE OFDMD STOP").
April 14 -- Wow! We've blazed past 1600 signatures with me asleep at the wheel, so to speak. I went to bed last last night with 1590-some, and awoke to 1610 this morning. I need to take the day off from work and sleep in more often! That has nothing to do with the petition. I'm just saying. *grin*
April 12 -- I've been a bit remiss in making updates here lately. I'm busy with work, and spring has finally fully arrived in Minnesota. When you're stuck indoors for several months of winter, there's no screwing around. You get your butt outside as soon as the first hint of warm air wafts across your skin. This is the perfect time of year when the sun is shining, it's not too cool, it's not too warm or muggy, and the skeeters aren't out yet. It's too soon to mow the grass, but not too soon to verbally harrass the neighbor kids. It's spring. It's here. Get used to it.
April 9 -- As of this posting, 1,500 on the petition are imminent. Also, if you check the signature list, you might notice I turned on signature approval. I did this to prevent duplicate signatures instead of having to go in and clean them up afterward. I'll try to approve signatures a few times a day.
April 6 -- We have a celebrity (or blogebrity?) petition signer. I had emailed my favorite local writer, Diablo Cody, on an unrelated topic a few days ago and mentioned the Diet Dew thing in a P.S. She wrote back today expressing her love of DMD and stopped by to sign the petition.

Here's what Diablo wrote on her blog (slightly edited since this page gets younger readers than the rest of my site):

"I ----ing love people!"

I just shouted that at my computer screen.

Just as I'd lost faith in the Internet as a conduit for authentic human expression, I got a MySpace message--something quite simple, an appeal to sign a petition condemning PepsiCo for changing the taste of Diet Mountain Dew--that flooded my heart with love and optimism.

God bless you, Internet.

Stay the same.

April 5 -- A photo from my sad Diet Dew party.

April 4 -- Tonight, I've got new info on the effects of aspartame and the scoop on my radio interview about Diet Dew today.
April 3 -- If you're in listening range of KLPZ 1380 am out of Parker, AZ, I will be giving an on the air interview Tuesday or Wednesday morning. More details here.

Happy Monday, everyone! Or at least have a happy Monday as you can. I'm tired after losing an hour of my weekend to springing the clock ahead. But a can of my old friend original formula Diet Mountain Dew sure is helping. Cold, crisp, clean. Diet Mountain Dew. Drink some, won't you? If PepsiCo pulls its head back into the sunshine and gives us back our OFDMD, I should work out a spokesperson deal with them. A mellifluous voice like this doesn't come along but once a generation. I'm the James Earl Jones of the Diet Mountain Dew movement.

For those that stopped by on Saturday, again I feel equal parts smugness and guilt over the little April Fools prank I played. I had you going, didn't I? I promise no more practical jokes. But it was April 1st, so how could I resist. *grin*

I may be giving a radio interview about the Diet Mountain Dew movement this week. I was sent an email Friday from someone with a radio station in Arizona. I sent them my info but haven't heard anything back yet. Perhaps someone was playing their own April Fools joke. If so, it was pretty convincing! In any case, I'll be certain to post more info if we get it scheduled.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Done blowed up

I don't know what the crap happened with my MySpace profile, but last week my stuff done blowed up good. Friend add requests all over the place. Where'd the exposure come from? My abnormally large number of comments on Diablo Cody's profile? My Diet Mountain Dew thing? I'm mystified. I summarily rejected most of them though. I'm not a MySpace friend whore. I'm just a regular attention whore who's willing to prostitute my dignity to the highest bidder.

I also discovered my blog is now listed in BlogShares. I'm somebody! DIE, Navin R. Johnson!!!!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Fight For Flavor: 1,000 signatures!

Thank you to Hannah Day, who had the 1,000th signature on the Diet Mountain Dew formula change petition. I've emailed you a gift certificate for a free hug*.

*This gift certificate is not real and may not be redeemed for anything at all. Cash value is zero dollars and zero cents. May not be used at any Arby's locations or outlet malls (or anywhere else). So please don't try to hug me unless you're having a really, really bad day. Even then, I wouldn't recommend trying it.

Fight For Flavor: Bo knows Diet Dew

Bo Williams, of gets our Diet Mountain Dew formula change protest some nice publicity and an article in The Huntsville Times. There's even a passing mention of me.

Scan of the printed article:

Link to article The Huntsville Times online (zip and birthdate required)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006 archive

NOTE: This is an archive of updates made to between March 3 and April 2, 2006. It was moved here to clean things up.

April 2 -- I couldn't help my little April Fools joke Saturday. I feel equal parts smugness and shame for fooling more than a few people. But how could I possibly resist? *grin* Oh, and this is not GNAHHHH. GNAHHHH is very real! But now I've probably jinxed it and delayed it more by mentioning it. Dang.

March 29 -- Well the "big thing" that was mentioned earlier this week seems to be in a bit of a holding pattern. I guess a watched pot doesn't boil, so I probably shouldn't have even mildly hinted at anything. I'm very eager to be able to tell you though. It's killing me! *grin*

Also, if you haven't taken the DMD survey from, please do so! Having hard data and a large sampling of responses to back up our claims is extraordinarily helpful to our cause.
March 28 -- On a personal note, thanks to a good friend's mother, I am now seven 12-packs of OFDMD richer. Her mom was visiting from Kansas City, MO and had stockpiled some for me when she heard of my plight. Though the expiration on them is March 27th, I think they'll be fine for another few weeks. Hands across America, people. Hands across America.
March 27 -- This will undoubtedly prove to be the biggest week in the Fight For Flavor for a number of reasons. We now have over 1,000 signatures on the petition. Today, we had our organized phone-in (if you have fun stories to share, send them my way). The biggest development, however, I can currently only refer to as "GNAHHHH". No, this is not an acronym. Just the sound I am making out of frustration for not being able to tell you (ok, I COULD tell you, but I promised I wouldn't).

March 21, 2006
-- Someone asked in a comment below why the t-shirts don't specifically mention Diet Mountain Dew on them. Because I don't want to get sued. End of explanation. *grin* The same person also pointed out something I've been meaning to mention. If you buy Tuned Up Taste Diet Dew and don't like it, DON'T THROW IT AWAY! I read a lot of comments on the petition from people who threw it out. Return it to the place of purchase. Send a message to the retailers stocking this swill, too.

I forgot to mention earlier that I finally got my grubby fingers on my ringer t-shirt and bumper sticker from the store today. I'm not only relieved that CafePress didn't produce a lame product, I'm impressed with how incredible they turned out! I did get a report over the weekend of one poor soul whose shipment was evidently damaged in transit by the USPS. But CafePress stepped up to the plate and sent them out a replacement free of charge without making them return the old one. So there you go. Great product. Great customer service. What are you waiting for?

March 20, 2006
-- The petition is on freakin' FIRE! We've been doing 4o to 50 signatures a day for the last several days. I can also now verify that I have had several visits to this site over the last couple of weeks from an IP address registered with Pepsi Cola Company in Somers, NY. We definitely have their attention. Now let's send them a message loud and clear: we want our original formula Diet Mountain Dew back, PepsiCo!! But this website can't be your voice. You need to call PepsiCo NOW to tell them how you feel about their decision to take away our favorite soft drink.

Thanks to Kat for the tip that some bottling companies are reusing old Diet Dew cardboard packaging and inserting Tuned Up Taste cans in them. So if you happen to--oops!--rip open that 12 pack or case to look inside before purchasing, that would be a sad but convenient mistake. *cough*

***PLUG ALERT!!!*** Be sure to watch The Late Show With David Letterman tonight! My favorite Minneapolis area writer and blogebrity, the always raunchy and hilarious Diablo Cody, is confirmed as making an appearance. Looks like she's finally hitting the big time (moreso).
March 18, 2006
-- I have to say that you all continue to amaze me! We crossed the 600 signature mark barely 2 days after hitting 500. And on a Saturday no less! Those of you who are spreading the work to fellow Diet Mountain Dew drinkers, all of us can't thank you enough.
March 17, 2006
-- Happy Friday and happy St Patty's Day to all of you! I'm decked out in a green sweater and even green pants today. Soon I'll be at the office drinking my green highlighted can of original formula Diet Mountain Dew. To heck with green beer! Besides, they kind of frown on drinking beer on the job where I work.

To my surprise, yesterday we quite handily cracked the 500 signature mark on the petition. At the rate we were going, I was thinking that wasn't going to happen until today. This is fantastic! Yesterday alone, we had nearly 40 signatures. We are now over 25% of the way to the goal of 2000 signatures by May 15th. But not so secretly, I'd love it if we just blew that goal out of the water with, oh say a few thousand more signatures. But I have to be realistic. Breathe, Jeremy, breathe. *grin*

Enjoy your weekend, everyone. Keep spreading the good word of the Fight For Flavor.
March 15, 2006 -- I thought after yesterday's boost from the link that traffic to the site would die down quite a bit today, but it looks like people are emailing that link around (it's to a non-Dew related item I posted, but more eyes on the banner mean more clicks and more eyes on this page and our cause). It also looks like there's something in a discussion forum at linking directly to the Fight For Flavor page, but you have to be a paid member to view the thread. Can anyone clue me in on that one? In any case, we will probably come in even with or only slightly below yesterday's traffic. Not too shabby!

I've also also posted thoughts on the value of email vs phone complaints and a suggestion to start pressuring stores that sell the new Diet Dew in addition to Pepsico.

We now have nearly 450 signatures on the petition! That is almost 25% to my goal of 2000 signatures by May 15th. Keep on telling all your fellow original formula Diet Mountain Dew lovers about! Email it, slap bumper stickers on your car, wear one of the t-shirts, and shout it angrily at small children walking to school! On second thought, don't do that last one. I just got a little carried away. *grin*
March 14, 2006
-- Wow! Traffic to the site is through the roof today. We're on track to have about quadruple to quintuple the highest number of visitors to this page so far (which was actually yesterday). Most of the visitors are coming from, a Minnesota-based blog and discussion site, as they put a link on their front page to a non-Dew blurb I posted the other day. Hey, anytime we can spread awareness of the Fight, it's all good.

I also want to take a moment to send out special thanks to Bo Williams at and Ken Deemer down in Florida. Both of these guys are really digging in. Bo has been a real thorn in PepsiCo's side (in the productive sense, not the nutjob with a backpack full of explosives sense! *grin*) in persistently contacting them in addition to running his website and other activities. And Ken has been busy setting up an auction on ebay, seeking council from radio DJ's, and researching advertising options like billboards, print ads, and radio and tv spots.

Also, if you are on MySpace, be sure to add your old buddy Diet Mountain Dew as a friend and put him in your top 8. And don't forget to add the banner to your profile. Like I said, any extra exposure we can get helps in the Fight.
March 13, 2006 -- With any plan or project, it is vital to set goals and deadlines. It is time to set some SMART goals in the Fight For Flavor. I already posted previously that our deadline is May 15th. By that date, here are the goals I want us to meet:

-At least 2000 signatures on the petition. Obviously, it would be to our advantage to have far more signatures than that, but I believe 2000 is a realistic and attainable number.

-At least one offline form of media publicity for our push to restore the original formula of Diet Mountain Dew that mentions or at the very least tells people how to get directly to the online petition. This can come in the form of a newspaper or magazine article, a television report, or a paid advertisement in print, billboard, or television form. If this is going to happen, please help out by buying merchandise or clicking the Make a Donation button to the right (beneath the photo of the t-shirt).

-At least one search engine ad placement campaign. Again, this requires money. Please help by buying merchandise clicking the Make a Donation button to the right (beneath the photo of the t-shirt). Any small amount, even just a few dollars will help. We can advertise on google for example with just a few dollars a day.

-And the end result, the big tamale, an official response from a representative for PepsiCo specifically addressing their plans to either restore the original formula of Diet Mountain Dew or, the more likely of the two options, introduce a companion "classic" version of Diet Mountain Dew that uses the original formula. This response should include a timeline for the introduction of this product. i.e. "Due to consumer demand, we will introduce a new product using Diet Mountain Dew's original formula in the fall of 2006." Yes, fall is a long way off, but again, I'm trying to work within a somewhat realistic timeline.

Thanks so much to all of you who have emailed me with your words of support. And thanks to those of you who have signed the petition.

In addition to the petition, I am urging a boycott of all PepsiCo products. This includes Frito-Lay snacks, Tropicana fruit drinks, Quaker breakfast foods, Gatorade sport drinks, and Pepsi soft drinks, including those falling under the Mountain Dew, Lipton, Aquafina, Mug Root Beer, and SoBe brands.

However, this boycott does not include original formula Diet Mountain Dew. Let's underline our message by cleaning out the store shelves of Diet Dew with the label "Same Dew New View" and leaving the boxes with "Tuned Up Taste" to gather dust.

Am I touched in the membrane? Wacked in the gourd? Yes. Yes I am. But I want all of us to remind PepsiCo that its loyal customers who have purchased and consumed Diet Mountain Dew for the better part of 20 years will not stand by and let them tinker with a classic. Time and time again, your emails and comments bring up the Coca-Cola Company's fiasco of New Coke in 1985. No, Diet Mountain Dew is no Coca-Cola in terms of market share and pop culture status (no pun intended), but we are loyal and rabid about our Diet Dew. Sign the petition and keep on calling and emailing PepsiCo to let them know your thoughts!

That's right. I'm not screwing around. I called PepsiCo's consumer hotline this morning and complained about their sudden and maddening decision to change the formula of Diet Mountain Dew after 18 years. The phone was answered right away, the woman was quite polite, asked me several questions about why I didn't like the new flavor, and recorded my response and zip code to send to the bottlers. So fans of the original flavor of Diet Dew unite. Call PepsiCo and let them know how you feel (1-800-433-2652). Please be respectful and polite, but firm in your complaint. It is not the hotline operator's fault they changed the formula, so there is no sense in taking your frustrations out on him or her. In addition to calling PepsiCo, please sign my online petition to restore the original formula or introduce a "classic" Diet Mountain Dew product.

Fight For Flavor FAQ (FFFFAQ)

-What is the Fight For Flavor about?

In late February, PepsiCo, Inc. quietly began shipping a reformulated version of Diet Mountain Dew to stores around the country. The primary change in the new formula, marked with the tagline "Tuned Up Taste" was the addition of the non-caloric sweeteners sucralose (Splenda) and acesulfame potassium (Ace-K). The new formula also presumably reduces the amount of aspartame, which was once the primary sweetener used. So far as we can tell, it was not until after store shelves had been stocked with the new formula that the media and advertising blitz touting it's arrival was unleashed.

Huge numbers of longtime Diet Mountain Dew drinkers were outraged at this unannounced and unexpected change to their favorite soft drink. Common complaints are that the new formula is too sweet and has a distinctly unpleasant aftertaste. And thus a movement was born.

-What exactly is the formula difference?

I can't tell you the exact blend, as I'm sure that's a closely guarded secret at PepsiCo. But I can give you the ingredients list from the old formula and new formula. I've bolded a few key differences.

Original formula: Carbonated water, concentrated orange juice, citric acid,
aspartame, potassium benzoate, citrus pectin, potassium citrate,
caffeine, gum arabic, natural flavors, brominated vegetable oil, yellow
5 and erythorbic acid.

"Tuned Up Taste" formula: Carbonated water, concentrated orange juice, citric acid,
natural flavors, citrus pectin, potassium benzoate, aspartame,
potassium citrate, caffeine, sodium citrate, acesulfame potassium,
sucralose, gum arabic, sodium benzoate, calcium disodium EDTA,
brominated vegetable oil, yellow 5.

Is this a lost cause?

I don't believe it is for a second. I think PepsiCo sorely underestimated the loyalty and volume of consumption of hardcore Diet Mountain Dew drinkers. Are they going to abandon the new formula after spending tens of millions of dollars on product development, consumer research, and marketing this new formula? Of course not! It is far more likely that they will concede by simply introducing "Diet Mountain Dew Classic" or a similarly named product under a new label that uses the old formula.

-Why do the t-shirts and other merchandise in the online stores not mention Diet Mountain Dew?

Because I don't want to get sued! I'm not about to sell merchandise using someone else's trademark. Think of it as a "teaser" like a teaser movie trailer. It gets the gears spinning. What is this Maybe I should go check it out. Who am I talking to? Is it cold in here, or is it just me?

-Are you making any money off of this site?

I wish! I'm spending many hours a week of my own time and spending money out of my own pocket to run this site, promote it through search engine ads, and other activities that cost money. I'm accepting donations (see the link to the right) and you can buy t-shirts and other merchandise to help me offset the costs. But at the end of the day, I'll probably be in the hole.

-Are you kidding me? Diet Mountain Dew tasted bad and needed a tuneup.

That is your opinion, and we obviously do not share it. Have you tasted the new formula? Many non-diet drinkers I know also report they find the new formula to be utterly putrid. But even if more people in the general population like the new formula better than the old, why take away the choice of the old formula from people who have been drinking it for nearly 20 years? We believe there is room on store shelves and in the marketplace for both versions.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Finding original formula Diet Mountain Dew

First, a message to my regular readers who have been coming here since before this whole Diet Mountain Dew thing blew up: I'm sorry! And thanks for putting up with me while I'm neck deep trying to get back my precious fuel. As you have noticed, I continue to post non-Dew essays and the occasional brief non sequitur.

And now back to business! I've posted similar information before, but frankly I can't remember if it was here or on a forum somewhere. I've been writing so much about Diet Mountain Dew the last couple weeks that it's hard to keep track...

This is strictly from my personal experience in the Minneapolis area, but I haven't had the least bit of trouble finding original formula Diet Mountain Dew around here yet. I'm probably stocked with about as much as I could possibly drink before expires, so let me share a few tips for finding OFDMD (and if you read between the lines, I fully confess without shame that if I hadn't stocked up and did have trouble finding it that I probably wouldn't be sharing these tips with you! *grin*)

Your average supermarket that tends to sell soft drinks in high volume at a greatly discounted price is going to be your worst bet. In the Minneapolis area, those are going to be places like Cub Foods, Rainbow Foods, Target, and Wal-mart. Elsewhere, insert your regional chains like Albertson's, Safeway, and Hy-vee. Forget it. They're out. I can all but guarantee it.

Your best bets are going to be gas stations, convenience stores, pharmacies, and higher end, specialty grocery stores that sell far lower volumes of multi-packs of soft drinks. In some cases, you're going to pay through the nose, but I've also seen very reasonable prices, as well. A couple of weeks ago, I paid $2.50 each for 12-packs of original formula Diet Mountain Dew at a SuperAmerica gas station. I also saw 12-packs going for nearly $5(!) in a Wal-greens. Last week I paid $3 each for 12-packs at a Byerly's, one of the aforementioned higher end grocery chains. In the Twin Cities, Lund's and Kowalski's are also good bets. Elsewhere, aside from your local gas/convenience chains, if it's a grocery store with hardwood floors and carpeting, that is equivalent to our Byerly's et al.

So happy hunting and good luck, Dew heads! Um...maybe I should find a better name to call you than that.

Diet Mountain Dew carbonation conspiracy?

Has anyone else noticed that the final batch of original formula Diet Mountain Dew seems less carbonated? Perhaps slightly flat? Is this my imagination? Perhaps PepsiCo did this on purpose to make the new formula seem more appealing. Obviously, it didn't work on me.

In other Diet Dew fun, one of my long-suffering coworkers today suggested a blind taste test. We chilled some Tuned Up Taste Diet Mountain Dew (TUTDMD), original formula Diet Mountain Dew (OFDMD), and regular Dew, then I secretly numbered 12 empty cups 1, 2, and 3 and numbered the new, old, and regular Dew. A couple of swallows of each Dew were poured into each of the corresponding cups.

Not that this is the least bit scientific, but I'll throw out my results since I knew what was in each cup.

Results from 4 coworkers (a 5th refused to participate on the grounds that she thinks all Mountain Dew beverages taste terrible) are as follows:

Coworker #1. Liked regular Mountain Dew best, followed by old Diet Mountain Dew, then new Diet Dew. He commented that he normally doesn't drink diet soda, but that he would actually drink OFDMD if he had to drink diet, but that TUTDMD tasted too sweet and had a bad aftertaste.

Coworker #2. Liked regular Mountain Dew best, followed by TUTDMD, then OFDMD. He commented that TUTDMD was too sweet and that OFDMD seemed flat (see my conspiracy theory above).

Coworker #3. Liked regular Mountain Dew best, followed by OFDMD, then TUTDMD. She commented that TUTDMD had a bad aftertaste and that she enjoyed the taste of OFDMD.

Coworker #4. Liked regular Mountain Dew best, followed by OFDMD, then TUTDMD. She commented that she didn't care for the taste of TUTDMD.

The interesting thing out of this is that out of 4 people, none of whom are diet soda drinkers, all four of them commented in one way or another that they didn't particularly care for the Tuned Up Taste Diet Mountain Dew. The common theme was that it was too sweet and had a bad aftertaste. Of those, 3 of them actually preferred the taste of original formula Diet Mountain Dew.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Diet Mountain Dew: Retail Pressure / Phone vs Email complaints

Fellow Flavor Fighter Ken down in Florida had a conversation with a manager of a Quizno's (one of the few fast food chains that carries fountain Diet Mountain Dew). This manager suggested not only complaining to PepsiCo, but complaining to retailers who carry Diet Mountain Dew, as well. If your local retailers get flooded with complaints, they will likely pass these complaints along to PepsiCo, who are now catching hell from two different sides.

With that in mind, may I humbly suggest (read: strongly urge!) you to write complaint letters to parent companies and managers of grocery and other retail stores that sell the new Tuned Up Taste Diet Mountain Dew. I would even more strongly suggest you call these managers or stop by and talk to them in person at the store. As with what we're finding comparing the email vs phone complaints to PepsiCo consumer relations, phone calls and personal conversations seem to call more attention than a letter or email. A letter can be skimmed and tossed into a queue for a prefab response. A phone call or face to face conversation takes time and attention. Now a company is paying an employee real money to stop to take several minutes out of their day to talk with you.

I can get the ball rolling for denizens of the Minneapolis-St Paul area.

Bloomington: (952)-881-6294
Burnsville: (952)-892-5600
Chanhassen: (952)-474-1298
Eagan: (651)-686-9669
Edina: (952)-831-3601
Golden Valley: (763)-544-8846
Maple Grove: (763)-416-1611
Ridgedale: (952)-541-1414
Roseville: (651)-633-6949
St. Cloud: (320)-252-4112
St. Louis Park: (952)-929-2100
St. Paul: (651)-735-6340

Cub Foods (owned by SuperValue)

Lund's Market
Edina: (952)-926-6833
Normandale Plaza: (952)-896-0092
Highland Park: (651)-698-5845
Minnetonka: (952)-935-0198
Plymouth: (763)-268-1624
Richfield: (612)-861-1881
Uptown: (612)-825-2440
Wayzata: (952)-476-2222

Rainbow Foods (owned by Roundy's)
Roundy's Customer Care
P. O. Box 473
Milwaukee, WI 53201-0473

Saturday, March 11, 2006 banner

How about a nice banner for your site or MySpace profile? Show your support for the fight to restore the original formula of Diet Mountain Dew!

Join the resistance:

Just copy the HTML code below:

The Fight For Flavor: Our deadline is May 15th, 2006

What expiration dates are you seeing on your cans and bottles of original formula (aka Same Dew New View) versions of Diet Mountain Dew? It seems like all of the ones I've snatched up around the Minneapolis area have an expiration date of May 15, 2006.

I'm telling you this because it highlights an increased urgency in our Fight for Flavor. I'm also telling you this to point out that stockpiling case after case of OFDMD is only going to get you so far. I know from personal experience that Diet Mountain Dew does eventually expire and go bad. You WILL run out. And you only have so much time. Even if you've got 100 cases stockpiled, unless you think you can drink it by June, you might find yourself with a whole lot of OFDMD that tastes almost as bad as Tuned Up Tasted Diet Dew.

Incidentally, May 15th is 5 days after my 30th birthday. Happy birthday, Jeremy. Hope you like crappy tasting Diet Mountain Dew! Many people would go out and get trashed beyond recognition on their 30th birthday. Me, I'll be chugging original formula Diet Dew until I either get a kidney infection or fly around the room like a hummingbird.

Friday, March 10, 2006 / stores store store

Why two stores? Because I couldn't set up multiples of each product in one store on CafePress.

Why two addresses? Screw the Dew is a more memorable slogan and website address in my opinion, but Fight For Flavor is far less caustic (for those uncomfortable wearing a shirt with the word "screw" on it in public--I am not one of those people, but it's all good).

I see, so this whole thing was to make a quick buck, huh? Not at all! I'm trying to raise money to purchase newspaper, radio ads, and perhaps, though highly unlikely, billboards and more expensive ad space in magazines and high circulation newspapers like the New York Times.

Ok, but how much is profit? Depending on the product (bumper sticker, shirt, etc.), about 15% comes to me, give or take. That money will be used for expenses related to the Fight For Flavor.