Friday, July 14, 2006

Strawberry Lemonade and Pepsi Vanilla

I was fifteen when Snapple discontinued my very favorite drink in the world.

Snapple made this excellent strawberry lemonade that was unbeatable. Julie and I were addicted--we even walked up to the local gas station right before the curtain of the musical to buy some. The summer after my freshman year, we regularly rollerbladed to the gas station to get our fix (that was before I learned the hard way that rollerblading with a glass bottle in your hand is generally not a good idea...ask me about it later). And then Snapple went and discontinued that wondrous drink.

I called Snapple to complain and beg them to bring it back, and got my very first taste of effective customer service. They promised to send me coupons for free Snapple so I could "find a new favorite." Not as good as bringing back the strawberry lemonade, but still nice. (For the record, no Snapple drink measures up. And Fruitopia had an inferior but acceptable berry lemonade substitute, which we drank for a few months until they went and discontinued that on us as well.)

The Snapple coupons gave me a penchant for what my college roommate Stephanie calls "my famous customer service campaigns." Except they aren't very famous, really. Nike never responded to my indignant letter about my brand-new-but-falling-apart volleyball shoes. And Jockey never responded to my complaint about how underwear with the same label in the same package were totally different sizes. (Yes, I really did write a letter to Jockey about my underwear.) But that didn't stop me from trying. I'm sure there have been more examples but I can't think of any at the moment.

Anyway, I digress. The favorite-drink-discontinued seems to be a theme in my life. Steve and I have been loyal Pepsi Vanilla drinkers for a long time. We're hooked. We wait until Kroger is having a great sale and then stock up. So you can imagine my dismay when I went to Kroger a few weeks ago (you can't beat a 5-for-$10 sale on 12-packs) and found no Pepsi Vanilla on the shelves. Prepared to go get a raincheck, I promptly ran into the Pepsi man, who informed me that Pepsi Vanilla had been discontinued because it didn't sell. But they were still selling Diet Pepsi Vanilla. (Ew.)

I actually called Steve from the store, I was so disappointed. If I had known, we could have at least stocked up! We have two 12-packs left, I think, and we are making them last as long as possible. Anytime he goes to open one, I give him that, "Are you SURE you REALLY NEED to have a Pepsi Vanilla right now? Shouldn't you save it for a special occasion?" look. No more will we be using them in our pot roast (which is really yummy by the way...but regular Pepsi will have to do). We have pondered adding vanilla extract to plain Pepsi, but have not yet tried it to see if it will really work. I have my doubts.

I called Pepsi, but did not have the same results as with Snapple. I'm a little confused about what's really going on, but the lady on the phone gave me the impression that it has not been discontinued everywhere, but that certain bottlers aren't selling it anymore because they need the shelf space. Alas. At least she recorded my comment that we want it back here in middle Tennessee.

So if they still sell Pepsi Vanilla in your area, and you feel so inclined to mail some to Steve and me (or come visit and bring it with you), we will love you forever.

17 comments:

Brandonian said...

Pepsi Vanilla? Good riddance, I say...

Now, if you want to talk about Vanilla Coke or Mello Yello, both of which have been discontinued in the last year or so, then I completely understand.

/Let the alt-Cola wars begin...

Amy said...

Cherry Coke trumps Wild Cherry Pepsi any day of the week. but give me Pepsi Vanilla or Mountain Dew every time. sorry.

melusina said...

As a devoted Mr. Pibb drinker I can totally related. When I first moved to Nashville, no Mr. Pibb. I actually had a deal with the Coke distributor to bring me a couple of 12-packs to the Comptons at 21st ave every once in awhile, but that stopped eventually.

Of course, now that I live in Greece, I have virtually no soft drink choices whatsoever, aside from Coke, Pepsi, 7up, Sprite, and their diet varieties. At this point, I'd be happy to see a Dr. Pepper. I'm so ashamed.

Maybe you'll get luck with trying the vanilla extract...at least for your pot roast...

Amy said...

how did you work out a deal with the distributor? I would so be all over that...

jag said...

MELLO YELLOW WAS DISCONTINUED? Oh NO! Mountain Dew sucks! I guess it's back to Sun Drop.

I actually heard about the wierd justifications for discontinuing sodas at a fireworks stand in Clarksville. The stand had a big Dr. Pepper bucket there, and the lady running the place said to take a pop, as Dr. Pepper was running a promotion. Seems neither the Diet Dr. Pepper Berries & Cream nor the Regular Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper were selling, so they discontinued those but continue to make the regular Berries & Cream and Diet Cherry Vanilla, which were the free sodas being given away that day.

I tried the Berries & Cream, since people kept trying to convince me that it was good. I didn't like it. It's trumped up cream soda.

Anyway, now that I know about Mello Yellow, I'll commiserate with you.

Sorry - first comment ever on your page and it's War & Peace.

Anonymous said...

The vanilla extract idea will not work very well. Vanilla extract is too intense, and it will be difficult for you to get a consistent flavoring without overwhelming the drink.

HOWEVER, if you will go to your supermarket's coffee section, you should be able to find a bottle of vanilla-flavored syrup. Simply add some of that to your Pepsi, and you will probably like it MORE than the Pepsi Vanilla product.

I personally find that both Pepsi Vanilla and Vanilla Coke have an unpleasant artificial flavor. The vanilla syrup works much better.

pepsitrev said...

any pepsi item is sure to make a person rock. we still ahve vanilla pepsi in british columbia canada

melusina said...

Amy, I called the Coke distribution center and cried, basically. Ok, I didn't cry, but I explained my plight and I guess I talked to the right people...they kept having me talk to different folks, and I got someone who was willing to get me set up. I'd just call every time I wanted a new batch of Mr. Pibb. It was VERY positive, to this day I can't believe I ever had such a good experience with any global company.

Nate & Maria said...

Hey Ame, I was going to mention the vanilla syrup thing but someone beat me to it. When I traveled with Rejoice!, the biggest deal was to go to Handy Andy for a Diet Vanilla Coke, and that was before Coke even made such a product--they squirted in some vanilla syrup. I thought it was gross, but I hate Diet Coke, so I don't think my opinion is worth much. I wish you luck in your quest for an acceptable alternative!

Jules said...

I'm STILL in mourning over the loss of strawberry lemonade Snapple. Yeah, I don't get over things very fast.

You can order strawberry lemonade at Bob Evans and it's pretty good, but it's no Snapple.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking...can't your husband pull a few strings here? I think you said that his company produces 1 out of every 3 cans used for pop. I can see it now...he could talk to his company about not selling any more cans to Pepsi until they abide by your demands.
Sounds pretty good, huh?

:) Love ya girl, Sandra
PS - I bought some Mountain Dew & Pepsi vanilla at Kroger yesterday because it was on sale and I thought of you.

Amy said...

hilarious, Sandra! I forwarded your comment to Steve...made me laugh out loud. yeah, he should try to pull some strings :)

Jackie said...

I have to admit that I'm not a huge Pepsi Vanilla fan myself .. I prefer the regular stuff .. though I do have a love for Cherry Coke! :-) Anyway, we still have Pepsi Vanilla at the Kroger here in Defiance (which is right across from the new PR office) and it's on sale! :-)So I vote that you come back to Ohio, visit us at our new office (Patty and I could sure use an encouraging face as we are struggling with NEW PEOPLE ONCE AGAIN!!!!!) and then you can drive across the street and pick up some Pepsi Vanilla .... hmm sounds like a good plan to me! :-)

Missing you!
Jackie

amt said...

I had a revelation while visiting Nashville this weekend. If you have a Publix grocery store near you, they usually do special orders for customers. Tell the manger that I sent ya. ;)

Thanksgiving. Will you be in town?

a suburban housewife said...

Don't use vanilla extract- try vanilla syrup instead. But I'm a Coke gal from way back...

a suburban housewife said...

Sorry, didn't realize the "vanilla syrup" idea was already posted.

How about this...you could probably make your own strawberry lemonade. Seems pretty straightforward.

Ransom said...

I've made it official and followed up on your original inquiry to the company to learn what became of the Strawberry Lemonade flavor.