Tuesday, September 13, 2016

"The Rise and Fall of Fruitopia, the Trippiest Beverage of the '90s"

After three years of (presumably) concocting and market-testing, Coke had six Fruitopia flavors. Yet fruity sugar water—even the greatest fruity sugar water in the world!—is nothing without an underlying concept.


"What is our new product announcement?" Zyman said in March of 1994, during what attendees presumed was, indeed, a new product announcement. "Let me answer that question by saying that it's not so much a product as it is an attitude... an attitude about what people want from their beverages."


Leonardo DiCaprio, then a post-teen hearthrob, called it his favorite drink.


a shoutout on the Simpsons. The drink appeared in the episode "They Saved Lisa's Brain," in which Lisa joins Mensa and meets Stephen Hawking. "I wanted to see your utopia," Hawking says, "but now I see it is more of a Fruitopia."

After going through the rest of the lines without a hitch, the computer attached to Hawking's voice synthesizer didn't know the brand name, so Hawking and his team were forced to reconstruct the word phonetically. "We were taking the most brilliant man in the world and using his time to record 'Fruitopia' in individual syllables," show writer Matt Selman later recalled on the episode's DVD commentary. Not bad for approximately 17-percent juice.

But trouble was afoot.