It’s Not Just Retail Stores, These Soda Brands May Not Survive Another 10 Years

For Americans of a certain age, it might be jarring to see so many retail stores dying off in recent years. However, times change, and when something more affordable and convenient comes along, you can’t blame consumers for taking advantage.

The same concept holds for food and beverages. Just as people weren’t eating meatloaf sandwiches and sipping chocolate malts in the 1990s, fewer folks are drinking soda and other sugary drinks in the 21st century. That has put fans of certain sodas (and the companies that produce them) on red-alert in 2018.

Soft drink manufacturers ignore the writing on the wall at their peril. Here are the soda brands that might not last another 10 years.

8. Jolt Cola

Jolt Cola advertisement

Jolt Cola | Jolt Cola via Facebook

  • It’s a thing once again, but it won’t last forever.

Children of the ’80s will remember the potent Jolt Cola as that drink that gave you both a sugar and caffeine blast. After its first death and a failed relaunch in 2005, the high-octane soda made yet another comeback in 2017.

This time around, Dollar General has exclusive rights to it (in 16-oz. cans). However, with consciousness about the dangers of sugar growing, don’t expect it to last forever.

Next: It’s a unique soda, but its diet brand faces headwinds.

7. Diet Dr. Pepper

Diet Dr Pepper

Diet Dr. Pepper | Dr. Pepper via Facebook

  • Like other diet sodas, expect this version of Dr. Pepper to struggle.

If you look at the list of declining soft drink brands in recent years, diet sodas clearly have the most to worry about. For a niche brand like Dr. Pepper, that goes double.

It’s not simply a matter of taste; Americans have actually grown wary of the chemicals used in diet sodas. The situation came to a head recently when a woman brought a class-action lawsuit against Coca-Cola for its marketing of Diet Coke.

Even though a judge dismissed the lawsuit in 2018, it’s clear people don’t believe the “diet” part of these sodas. Others have simply begun to hate the way they taste.

Next: Injecting fruit flavors into sodas seems desperate.

6. Flavored Diet Cokes

Zesty Blood Orange Diet Coke | Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Diet Coke

  • We doubt Twisted Mango Diet Coke is a keeper.

As a response to critics in recent years, the Coca-Cola brand launched a new line of flavored Diet Cokes: Ginger Lime, Feisty Cherry, Zesty Blood Orange, and Twisted Mango. As odd as some of these flavors are, they actually sold well in their first few months on the market.

Yet we wouldn’t expect them to be around years from now. People know enough about tropical fruits these days to realize they taste better outside of a Diet Coke can.

Next: The diet version of this oddly colored soda probably should die.

5. Diet Mountain Dew

Diet Mountain Dew

Diet Mountain Dew | Mountain Dew via Facebook

  • Between the chemical components and ‘diet’ on the label, this Dew is likely to die.

There are a few things putting the future of Diet Mountain Dew in jeopardy. The first is the”diet” on the label — this type of soda will continue to decline.

Meanwhile, this drink is unhealthy in so many ways. According to a Scientific American report, a synthetic chemical known as brominated vegetable oil (BVO) is used in Mountain Dew; its other use is as a flame retardant.

For that reason, health officials in Europe and Japan have banned it from food products. Even though it has forced people on soda binges to receive medical attention, it’s still available in America. That will change, sooner or later.

Next: Millennials don’t think much of this soda, which bodes poorly for the future.

4. Pepsi


Pepsi | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

  • Surveys show Pepsi losing significant ground with millennials.

Following the Kendall Jenner ad embarrassment, Pepsi has lost a lot of traction with millennials. In fact, a YouGov survey in April 2018 showed the soda’s “purchase consideration” among the age group down at a level not seen since 2015.

On top of Pepsi’s gradually slowing sales, that sort of outlook won’t make the company officials feel comfortable

Next: This lemon-lime soda has seen better days.

3. 7UP


7UP | Scott Olson/Getty Images

  • A marketing campaign in 2017 aimed to save the 7UP brand.

While diet soda sales have dropped over a third since 2005, the 7UP brand has taken an even steeper fall in recent decades. In the late 20th century, it dominated as “The Uncola,” but these days it’s an also-ran.

A new ad campaign in 2017 aimed to reposition the soda as something for everyone, but Sprite is faring much better among consumers.

Next: This soda didn’t get a fruit jolt for nothing.

2. Diet Coke

Diet Coke

Diet Coke | George Frey/Getty Images

  • The new flavors are an attempt at postponing the inevitable.

You don’t shake up an iconic brand like Diet Coke for nothing. That’s why it has new fruit flavors and different bottling styles.

Nonetheless, sales of this soda (like all other diet colas) continues to be on the decline. As far as diets go, Diet Coke will likely be the last to drop. But that doesn’t mean it won’t die.

Next: Even compared to other sodas, this brand’s been in a free-fall in recent years.

1. Diet Pepsi

Diet Pepsi

Diet Pepsi | John Parra/Getty Images for Diet Pepsi

  • Any way you look at it, Diet Pepsi’s future is grim.

Whether you scan the sales charts of the past decade or analyze Diet Pepsi’s failed sucralose experiment, all signs point to this soda’s days being numbered. In 2016 alone, its sales dropped 9% compared to the year before.

That was followed by another 8% drop in 2017. It’s only a matter of time until it fizzles out to the point of extinction.

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