The Most Bizarre Soft Drinks Failures

If you ask people to name the worst soft drink they have ever tasted, the results would be largely unhelpful. There is no accounting for taste, after all, and most people would describe drinks that other people deeply love.

However, because the market for fizzy drinks is so broad and ranges from delicious cheap soft drinks to established luxury brands, there is plenty of room for some truly bizarre drinks to enter the market, as well as some truly baffling failures.

Here are some of the most bizarre soft drinks to enter our lives quickly and disappear just as fast.

 

Orbitt 

Probably the classic example of a bizarre drink that failed bizarrely, Orbitz was a clear soft drink that looked a bit like a lava lamp but had small edible balls that were meant to make it “texturally enhanced”. 

However, much like how some people do not like bubble tea or drinking orange juice with the bits still in it, quite a few people hated the texture of Orbitz, and the bizarre space-age inspired ad campaign did not help. 

It lasted a year, and its website has since been taken over by a popular travel website of the same name.

 

OK Soda

New Coke is the classic example of how an established brand will try to throw everything away to claim a younger audience, but OK Soda arguably went even harder in attempting to target Generation X.

The brainchild of the man who spearheaded New Coke, OK Soda was in many respects the anti-coke, its taste was vague, the cans were grey and filled with complex surreal imagery designed by alternative cartoonists, and the marketing campaign was aimed at people who hated advertising.

It underpromised, was self-aware that it was advertising a product and was frank about selling the idea of OK rather than any particular drink.

Shockingly, it didn’t work, and the drink did not escape 1993, although it has a cult following to this day

 

Sunny Delight

What is most bizarre about the fate of Sunny D is that it was a failure at all. At its peak, the still orange soft drink was the third biggest soft drink in the UK (behind Coke and Pepsi of course).

However, a year after its massively successful launch in 1998, all of the success the drink had would go sour very quickly.

The first issue was that it was marketed as a healthier soft drink, rich in vitamin C and D. The latter was largely untrue, and the former was not a result of the laughably small 2% fruit juice the drink contained.

This led to the Food Commission launching an investigation into how healthy the drink actually was. 

What made it worse was when a four-year-old girl turned orange after drinking a full 1.5-litre bottle of the drink a day, which made the news just as Sunny Delight launched an advert where a snowman turned orange.

Sales halved by 2001, and SunnyD has been rebranded, reformulated and altered repeatedly ever since.

 

Vio

Whilst there is no accounting for taste, Vio might be close to the worst soft drink idea ever concocted. Vio was a milk-based soft drink, and the idea alone can be enough to turn many stomachs.

Rolled out to test markets in 2009, it was quickly discontinued when people actually tried it. However, a non-carbonated version is very popular in India and Japan.