Lots o’ Soda: Diet Sun Drop
Though this may be on the verge of changing — Dr. Pepper, having owned the brand for a while, is starting to ramp up its marketing and distribution and use it as a competitor of Mountain Dew — but Sun Drop is a valuable lesson in the risks of underselling. First developed in the ’30s in St. Louis, it developed a loyal following all up and down the Mississippi River, especially in the deep South and Minnesota. On first gulp, it’s a little lighter and less sweet than Mountain Dew, but with a distinctive flavor that comes from the presence, albeit in minuscule amounts, of orange juice. It’s also got massive amounts of caffeine — far more than Dew, which is famous for its get-you-hopped-up factor. Even better for fat slugs like me, the diet version contains even more caf than the regular dose: the sports-drink abomination known as Vault is the only American soda that has more caffeine content than Diet Sun Drop. Curiously, neither the jolly ol’ OJ content (and the concomitant bogus claims of healthfulness it would allow them to make) nor the nearly coffee-esque levels of caffeine are used as selling points by the manufacturers. Instead, they seem to be going for a more or less generic eXXXtreme-soda-eXXXperience, of the sort that could be stuck carelessly onto any citrus soda. Why they don’t take advantage of not one, but two, fairly unique selling points is beyond me, but hey, I just drink the stuff. I should give their marketing department free advice?