The story of many different soda products are full of comeback-kid moments. Slice, like lots of other sodas, has come and gone from the market a few times. The soda market seems to have a ceiling for the number of citrus sodas that can be sold at any one time. Sodas like 7up hold their own no matter what happens, but other clear sodas often struggle to find a spot for themselves within this competitive market.
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Slice Soda was a staple product for kids and adults alike in the 80s and 90s, but then it went through a variety of changes that effectively altered the product completely each time. There are few soda products that have gone through so much metamorphosis throughout their lifetime. If you have never tried Slice Soda, the current version of the soda is a lot different than its predecessors.
Slice Soda History
Slice Soda hit the market in the hands of PepsiCo in 1984. The soda was intended to replace a brand called Teem that had recently been discontinued by the company. The original idea of Slice was that it would be a fruit juice-based drink that was sold in the US and Canada. The intention was that the product would compete with 7up and Sprite, both of whom were, and still are, giants in the clear and fruity soda market space.
The first version of Slice Soda was made with the stated 10% fruit juice. In India, it was sold as Tropicana Slice and was made with mango flavoring. A diet version of Slice was released in 1985 to catch the wave of trendy diet sodas filling up supermarket shelves.
By 1986, Slice Soda was sold with other flavors in the US, the first of which was the Mandarin Orange, which was used to flavor soda sold outside the US. These were joined by Orange, Apple, and Cherry Cola. There were diet versions of each of these new flavors as well. The new additions brought with them a new slogan, which was, “We’ve got the juice!”
Slice was actually a huge hit at first. The taste was a bit different than the other clear sodas on the market, likely due to the high percentage of juice in each can. Coca-Cola and Cadbury rushed to add their own competitors to the space. By 1987, Slice Soda was already losing ground to these new challengers.
When concerns over the sugar content of sodas became public and parents started to put back on soda purchases, Slice Soda suffered even more losses. The sugar content had to be reduced, and a significant portion of the juice component of the recipe was removed. Cans now stated that the soda was made “with fruit juices” but didn’t mention a percentage.
A new slogan was thought up, and Slice Soda was advertised with the tagline, “Either you got it, or you don’t” and the Apple and Cherry Cola flavors were removed from production. In 1990, the product packaging was redesigned yet again, and the juice component of the product was again reduced.
Slice tried expanding the lineup of flavors again, this time adding Grape, Pineapple, Fruit Punch, and Strawberry. They also created a new mascot called Fido Dido, who was associated with competitor 7up. The new slogan for Slice was “Clearly the one”.
These changes didn’t do anything other than help Slice Soda limp along. By 2000, the product was replaced entirely with a product called Sierra Mist. This was not a national brand until 2003, but it did enjoy some early market success that was promising. Tropicana Twister Soda used the Slice recipe and was later released to national markets. It enjoyed the most success outside of the US, and versions of this product continue to be sold in other countries today.
Fans of Slice Soda created quite a bit of chatter about missing the flavorful and citrusy soda, and Pepsi thought they might try again. They launched Slice ONE, which was a diet soda version of the Slice recipe. This was offered in orange, grape, and berry flavors. The sweetener in these sodas was the relative newcomer to the sweetener market, Splenda.
Sadly, Slice ONE was no more successful than other reboots of the original product. Slice continued to perform well in places like India but poorly in the US. Pepsi removed the product from general production and sold it entirely within Wal-Mart stores on a special contract starting in 2009.
In 2023, again responding to a clamor from consumers about missing Slice Soda and wanting it to be sold again in regular stores, PepsiCo revamped the product from scratch. They created something called Starry, which actually uses the recipe for Sierra Mist. Sales of Starry have not been reported as of yet, since the product is so new.
Despite the creation of Starry, Slice’s recipe was actually licensed to New Slice Ventures LLC in 2018. After development and work to create a product that the various parties involved in the company could agree upon, New Slice Ventures released Slice-branded products for the first time.
These sodas come in Raspberry, Grapefruit, Blackberry, Mango, Pineapple, Apple, and Cranberry. As of 2022, the products were rebranded yet again, this time being produced as “retro-style” products. The flavors were reduced to just Orange, Lemon-Lime, Cherry, and Berry. The New Slice Ventures sodas are only sold with specific retailers, but you can track them down online in some instances as well.
There are few soda products on the market today that have survived so many changes. Slice Soda has been so many different things throughout its history and has evolved in so many ways just to survive. You might have had Slice before and just didn’t realize it due to all the rebranding efforts that have gone into keeping this soda recipe in production.
Slice Soda Varieties
- Apple Slice – 1986-88
- Diet Apple Slice – 1986-88
- Cherry Cola Slice – 1986-88
- Diet Cherry Cola Slice – 1986-88
- Cherry Lime Slice
- Dr. Slice – made with Dr. Pepper Flavoring in the 90s
- Fruit Punch Slice – 1990s
- Grape Slice – 1990s
- Lemon-Lime Slice – original – 1984-2000
- Diet Lemon-Lime Slice
- Mandarin Orange Slice – 1986-97
- Diet Mandarin Orange Slice – 1986-97
- Orange Slice 1997-present
- Orange Citrus Slice – late 90s
- Mango Slice – Indian and Pakistan markets only
- Passionfruit Slice- 1990s
- Peach Slice- 1990s
- Pineapple Slice – 1990s
- Pink Lemonade Slice – 1990s
- Red Slice – 1990s
- Strawberry Slice – 1990s
New Venture Slice Flavors
- Orange Slice
- Lemon-Lime Slice
- Cherry Slice
- Berry Slice
Slice Soda Livery
Slice Soda has had as many styles of livery as flavors. The original cans were green with a white logo that showed a lemon as the “I” in the logo. The other flavors with this livery style were represented with different-colored backgrounds. Orange was orange, and apple was yellow, and so on.
When the various new flavors were introduced in the 90s, and the recipe was changed, Slice got a new look. The cans were mostly black with a bright splash of color under the Slice logo. The various flavors were represented with different colors behind the logo and different cartoon fruits under the Slice wording.
Starry Soda is actually very visually appealing. The current cans are light green on top and yellow on the bottom, with the image of a lemon that is green and yellow behind the logo. The logo has been depicted in beautiful cursive, and there are little silver and gold “sparkles” all over the can.
The licensed version of Slice Soda is sold in white cans with the logo depicted in different colors depending on the flavor. This is another really visually interesting can that draws the eye. There are different kinds of fruit in cartoon styling all over the can, and the actual flavor name is depicted on the bottom of the can in small lettering. Each of the pop tops is a different color to match the flavor as well.
The boxed packs of sodas usually matched the livery on the cans, but Slice has always tended toward pretty simple marketing for this part of their product design. In the 90s, the packaging for six and 12-packs was orange and blue for a while with a really interesting and noteworthy logo, but this was phased out when the new flavors were revamped and removed from production.
It’s not shocking that many people don’t realize that they have been drinking Slice Soda all along without knowing it. There have been so many different versions of this product that have been marketed to different unique soda markets that it’s unavoidable that you might not have realized that your favorite soda was really Slice!
Slice Soda Logo
Slice Soda Ingredients
The current Slice recipe:
- Carbonated Water
- High Fructose Corn Syrup and/or Sugar
- Citric Acid
- Potassium Citrate
- Potassium Benzoate (Preserves Freshness)
- Gum Arabic
- Malic Acid
- Potassium Sorbate
- (Preserves Freshness)
- Yellow 6
- Ester Gum
- Natural Flavor
- Calcium Disodium EDTA (to Protect Flavor)
- and Brominated Vegetable Oil
Slice Soda Nutrition
|Serving Size:||1 cup(s) – 236 ml||*Daily Value %|
|Amount Per Serving|
Pictures of Slice Soda
Slice Soda Ads
An ad from the 80s with the “Who’s Got the Juice?” slogan:
Another of the 80s ads with the same slogan:
A cherry cola slice soda ad:
The famous Magic Johnson ad from the 90s:
Jason has been a snack addict since his early years and now enjoys nothing more than reviewing his favourite candys and sweets.
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