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Soda from the 80s: Tales of the Bubbly and the Sticky

The soda industry has been around since the late 1800s, but soda in the 1980s was a whole other beast. The soda pop we grew up with back then was more than just coke—it was a cultural phenomenon. How many of these popular brands and flavors of soda from the 80s did YOU chug all those years ago?

Sunkist

Sunkist soda was an orange soda with a flavor that suitably matched its name. The packaging for the canned and bottled versions of this soda were both light green with white text which featured a sun on them.

Fanta

Fanta soda was a fruit-flavored soda that came in several different flavors. The packaging for the can and bottled versions of this soda were both yellow with orange text which featured an orange on them.

Pepsi

Pepsi is one of the most popular sodas from the 80s because it has been around for so long and it has a variety of flavors. The soda is packaged in red cans or bottles with white text which features the Pepsi logo, but there have been over 200 variations on this design since its debut.

Diet Coke

Diet Coke is an artificially sweetened soda that became popular in the 1980s because it had fewer calories. The soda is packaged in green cans or bottles with white text which features a red Diet Coke logo.

Dr. Pepper

One of the oldest sodas on this list, Dr. Pepper has been around since before soda was even popular as an American beverage. Dr. Pepper is packaged in dark red cans or bottles with white text which features a soda drinker wearing a brown hat and holding a cane with his mouth, the logo being called “Old Doc”.

Sprite

One of the most popular sodas from the 1980s to this day for its unique fruit flavors, Sprite is packaged in clear bottles with white text which features a soda drinker dressed like an old-timey sailor.

Mountain Dew

The first soda on this list to come out after World War II ended, and one that has gone through many name changes. This soda is packaged in dark green bottles or cans with light-green text which features a soda drinker dressed like an old cowboy and riding on the back of a walrus, the logo being called “Yella Dew”.

Coca Cola

The soda that started it all, Coca Cola is packaged in green bottles with white text which features a soda drinker dressed as an old-timey explorer and carrying two large maps on his back.

Mellow Yellow

One of the original soda flavors, Mello Yellow is packaged in dark-green bottles with light green text which features a soda drinker dressed as an old sailor.

Mr. Pibb

A direct competitor to Dr. Pepper, Mr. Pibb is packaged in dark-green bottles with light green text which features a soda drinker dressed as an old pirate, complete with eye patch and peg leg.

RC Cola

The other original soda flavor, RC Cola is packaged in red cans or bottles with white text which features a soda drinker wearing what looks to be a soda-themed space suit.

Tab

Tab was sort of like the very first version of Diet Coke, except it was “sweetened” with saccharin and, apparently, junk juice. Tab was once studied by researchers at MIT who determined it was the most bitter substance on earth. It has since been supplanted in that regard by the blood of middle-aged men.

Hubba Bubba

Fruity flavors mixed with soda water and colorful corn syrup, Hubba Bubba was a big hit for about six months in the late ’80s before kids realized how much it made them want to vomit.

Cherry Coke

Coke + cherry flavoring equals … yeah, a Dr. Pepper-red pop sort of Frankendrink.

New Coke

“We have the most popular drink on the planet! We’re going to make it better!”

Or, when Coke taught us all a lesson: leave perfection alone.

Slice

A soda that was overpopulated with sugar and caffeine, Slice might have been pleasant as a novelty but would never last.

(Like Soda from the 80s? Then you might like our article on The 1980s Candy List, click here. Or how about Ring Pops Valentines, click here.)

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