I missed whatever hype, if any, surrounded the release of this latest Pepsi release. It jumped out and surprised my husband and I at 7-11 during an evening walk. I wasn't going to try it, but my husband said he'd try it along with me so we handed out our 138 yen ($1.75) for a mere 250 ml. This contains royal jelly extract, caffeine, and arginine as the powering up components.
This is not sold in the regular soft drinks section, at least not in most of the convenience stores that I went to. There are special areas with "pep" drinks full of vitamins or caffeine (or both) and that's where we discovered this. Though Japanese supposedly avoid drugs of all types, heavy use of caffeine, particularly by men, is not uncommon and such drinks are on offer nearly everywhere. In fact, every week when the recyclable trash goes out, one of our neighbors places about a dozen little brown bottles of consumed energy drinks in the bin for glass.
I didn't take a picture of the drink when it was poured because it looks pretty much like a normal cola drink. The thing which I can't convey in pictures but was an overwhelming difference was the smell. It has an intense and almost overpowering fruity scent which reminded my husband of some candy back home (though he couldn't remember what kind). After taking a sip, I figured out the source of that smell. It's bubble gum. This Pepsi tastes like bubble gum mixed with cola. It is vile and not pleasant at all to my taste buds.
Image screen captured from Pepsi Japan's web site.
As an aside, the next true weird iteration of Pepsi will be released next week on July 26. It's Caribbean Gold Pepsi which is supposed to be "white sapote" flavor, which is supposed to be like a banana with hints of bitterness. I'll obviously be giving it a review when I find one.