As we live in an increasingly global world, it can be difficult to find cultural products that are truly unique to certain countries. Fortunately, in Japan, there are food and drinks options that cannot be found anywhere else.
In terms of food, there are certainly varieties of sushi that other countries wish they possessed, but if we are being honest, the real food experience involves the weird Japanese kit kat flavors. In terms of beverages, sake may be the most likely choice, but we cannot discount the ancient and mysterious enemy of Coca Cola. So with no further ado, we present you ten bizarre, and for the most part disgusting, flavors of Pepsi designed for the Japanese palate.
Pepsi Ice Cucumber.
Nothing keeps you feeling cool and refreshed like this exotic blend of artificial flavors. With no actual cucumber juice added, the unnatural-looking pale green soda had a short-lived debut in 2007.
A spokesman for the company mentioned that summer 2016 might see a re-release, but we hope not.
Pepsi Pink Cola.
For years, soda pop producers have squared off against the dairy industry. Children love carbonated beverages, whereas milk does not have as wide of an appeal.
However, a new contender threw its hat into the ring last year. Pink Cola combines delicious strawberry-milk flavoring with the carbonation every child craves. Sadly, it does not count as a serving of dairy.
If you have ever enjoyed an Asian dessert, you’ve probably tasted Adzuki beans. Frequently the beans are boiled with sugar to create a red bean paste that serves as a filling for delicious treats like anpan (sweet roll) and taiyaki (fish-shaped cake).
Unfortunately, this recipe does not translate well to a carbonated beverage. This Pepsi flavor received almost universally negative reviews after appearing on the market in 2009.
Pepsi Salty Watermelon.
Summertime and the living is easy. Summer in Japan can be quite beautiful and one of the best treats is some fresh watermelon. Sprinkle on a little bit of salt and the fruit transforms into an even more delicious mid-day snack. Pepsi capitalized on this summer tradition by launching a soda flavor that reflects that blend of sweet and salty. This is the best Japanese Pepsi flavor of the bunch.
Pepsi Blue Hawaii.
Keeping to the tropical theme of summer fruit, this variety burst onto the scene in 2008. The flavoring is a combination of lemon and pineapple. The taste could be worse; for instance, it could taste like Ice Cucumber. The two products also share a neon color. Whereas Ice Cucumber looks like radioactive waste, this looks like antifreeze.
A beverage perfect for those moments when you want to sip on the dried fruit powder of an exotic tree found only in Africa and Australia. The Baobab flavor is tart and actually has the most nutritional value of any soda brand in Japan. The color, however, looks like someone peed in the bottle.
If sipping on the fruit of an exotic tree makes you thirsty for more adventure, there is this fine flavor. This blend uses the apple-sized White Sapote fruit from central Mexico. The flavor is sweet, but due to the chemical qualities of the fruit, this beverage can induce drowsiness.
Pepsi Mont Blanc.
One of the most popular desserts in Japan is named after the eleventh tallest mountain in the world. At 15,776 feet, the White Mountain in the Alps towers over the smaller, tastier treat in Japan that consists of a chestnut cake topped high with whipped cream frosting. In 2010, Pepsi attempted to capitalize on the sweet’s popularity by producing the dessert-flavored soda. The beverage was relatively popular and reappeared on the market in 2012.
Perfect for the always-on-the-go Japanese businessperson, this flavor has twice as much caffeine as a regular Pepsi. The taste is less jarring than Jolt Cola, but the burning of the esophagus is twice as intense. Nevertheless, the drink has become so popular that entire Pepsi Shot bars have been established in Tokyo.
This is the latest flavor to appear on the Japanese market. It was developed specially for the 2015 holiday season and has a powerful, but not overpowering, orange flavor. It is strange to see clear and taste orange though. As weird as this product is, it pales in comparison to the 2008 version of Pepsi White which was yogurt flavored.
To celebrate Halloween this year, Pepsi Japan launched a “mystery flavor.” There were actually 14 types of Pepsi Ghost available for a limited time, forcing customers to guess which flavor they were sipping.
Last but certainly not least is the Pepsi Azuki. This is cola has an Azuki bean taste to it and appears to be the same color as the bean. It was sold back in October, 2009. The Japanese are no strange to the taste of Azuki so yet again the combination was too far-fetched. The label for the Azuki has a very elegant or mature look to it. Maybe trying to capture an older crowd?