The Guilty Pleasure: Surge soda. Where to Get It: For now, exclusively on Amazon.com. Price: $14 for a 12-pack. What it Really Costs: New bigger cans mean even more empty calories per serving!
If you are of a certain age, you may well remember Surge soda. It was Coca-Cola's attempt in the 1990s to gain market share from Pepsi's perennially popular Mountain Dew.
The soda was marketed as an extreme citrus soda. Or, more likely back in the late 1990s, as an XTREME! citrus soda, with splashy graphics and people in commercials participating in intense sporting activities.
Much to Coke's chagrin, the soda didn't take down Mountain Dew as they had planned. Pepsi's classic soda continued on as strong as ever, while Surge's sales dwindled and became more of a cult favorite than anything else. The soda was discontinued back in 2003, much to the chagrin of a small band of passionate Surge drinkers.
In the decade following, these Surge drinkers got together online and reminisced about their favorite soda. They even launched a grassroots campaign to get Coca-Cola to start making Surge again.
If you remember and love Surge soda, and wish that you could get your hands on a can of Surge again, your wish has been granted. Both Coke and Pepsi are using online retail titan Amazon.com as something of a test bed for new products, being able to do smaller production runs that can be shipped anywhere in the country instead of having to launch a massive nationwide campaign. So now, you can get a 12-pack of 16-ounce cans of Surge soda shipped right to you for only $14.
But is it anything like it was back in those extreme (pardon me, XTREME!) 1990s?
I could swear the color is a little bit lighter than the brilliant neon green I remember, but this might be because most of the Surge I drank back in the day was in the dim lights of Gameworks. The taste, however, is spot-on. The bright citrus flavor is still there, this time even better through the lens of nostalgia. When I was sipping from the glass, I found myself adopting the two-hand cradle position that you see in advertisements with yoga pant wearing women sipping pumpkin spice lattes.
And of course, the caffeine kick is still great.
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Sales of Surge so far have been incredibly brisk, with new shipments selling out in just a few short hours. This is due in part to people like me who ordered several cases just for themselves. There are also a large number of unscrupulous people who bought it by the truckload, then turn around and sell it at a premium on Amazon or eBay.
If you're excited about Surge being back but haven't been able to get in on one of the sales frenzies, hold tight for just a little bit longer. It's been 11 years, what's another few weeks? Your best plan is to follow Surge's Twitter feed, then jump on at your next opportunity.