We can’t protect you from Pepsi Mango

Cans of Pepsi Mango and Pepsi Mango Zero Sugar
Graphic: PepsiCo

Starting Monday, March 22, is unleashing the first addition to its permanent flavored cola canon in five years: Pepsi Mango. While we’ve seen a few novelty Pepsi flavors pop up in the last year—Pepsi Apple Pie was genuinely delicious, and while we didn’t get the chance to try Pepsi Hot Cocoa, the spirit behind the idea seemed pure and true. But Pepsi Mango isn’t a one-time promotion. Oh, no. This stuff is here to stay.

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A press release sent to The Takeout describes the new soda’s “bright citrus and rich caramel notes,” which allegedly “create the perfect cola base for the ripe, juicy flavors that make mango so irresistible.” I love mango, and I certainly won’t turn down a Pepsi—but I do have questions about how realistic this pairing may be. Wouldn’t the caramel notes of the cola drown out the fruity mango?

I guess my concern boils down to one question: why? Why have they done this? Todd Kaplan, Pepsi’s vice president of marketing, does his best to explain it in the press release: “Mango is one of the most popular fruits in the world, and it serves as the perfect complement to Pepsi, creating an irresistible combination that our fans can enjoy everywhere throughout the year.” Well, okay. Thanks for playing, Todd.

To celebrate “unlikely pairings,” Pepsi Mango is launching a new campaign “dedicated to helping real people find their perfect match, even with the most surprising person.” According to the release, in early April, Pepsi will release a series of dating advertorials for a handful of “interesting young singles” across multiple advertising platforms. I’m not totally sure what happens if one of the Interesting Young Singles (TM) catches your eye. Maybe you can send them a nice email. Regardless, if you need a little liquid courage to put yourself out there, you can grab Pepsi Mango at retailers nationwide beginning Monday, March 22, in both Regular and Zero Sugar varieties.

Staff writer @ The Takeout, joke writer elsewhere. Wrangling dogs and pork shoulder in Chicago.

DISCUSSION

Maybe this is a sign that the pandemic is in its last days. I know at its height all the soda manufacturers started cutting back on niche offerings. I believe it was due to the shortage of aluminum caused by people not able to bring their cans in for recycling. To this day I don’t think I’ve seen more than three 12 packs of Faygo on the shelf at any one time, and I live in Michigan. Even other canned goods makers trimmed their product lines. All the stores around us stopped selling Alpo canned dog food and only offered Pedigree in short supply.  Just saw Alpo back on the shelves though.