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Citrus Cherry

Citrus Cherry (also known in Sweden as "Game Blast") was a Mountain Dew flavor, originally started in the Game Fuel Promotion where it was released for a limited time. It was released on and off during the years 2007 through 2013 (except for 2008 and 2010), and became a permanent flavor in some areas beginning in 2014. In 2009, 2011, and 2013 through 2016, Citrus Cherry would be released alongside a new companion flavor for a limited time (it was also released in 2012 without a companion flavor). It was discontinued by Wispak, the last remaining bottler producing it, in 2022, making it officially discontinued.

Description

Citrus Cherry, was a Citrus Cherry flavor of Mountain Dew. It was similar to another Dew flavor, which has a similar shade of cherry flavor, Code Red. Its color had a red look.

Tagline

Its tagline was "DEW with a Blast of Citrus Cherry Flavor with other natural flavors." In Europe, its tagline is "DEW with a Rush of Cherry Flavour."

History

Main article: Game Fuel Promotion

(2007) Halo 3

Game Fuel (Citrus Cherry) was first released in stores with Halo 3 branding in August 2007, for 12 weeks nationwide in the United States in various sizes such as 20-ounce bottles, 2-liter bottles, 12-packs, and a Green Label Art 16-ounce bottle. It was also available in the Slurpee for about half of a year in some places

This 2007 release, in particular, was intended to coincide with a new Xbox 360 video game called "Halo 3." Since this is the first time that PepsiCo, the parent company, teamed up with a newly released video game, there weren't any "extra perks" relating to how you enter codes from the cap to get that "extra perk" in the game itself.

From this point onwards, this Game Fuel Promotion would be more than just a one-off promotion PepsiCo did for video games.

(2009) World of Warcraft

Game Fuel (Citrus Cherry) has returned and sparked the first time that a new companion flavor was brought to light, Game Fuel (Wild Fruit) in the Summer of 2009 for a limited time 10 week run. It got a rebranded design to coincide with the Online MMORPG, World of Warcraft.

This 2009 release didn't accompany and specific expansion or game release, and it was more just there to promote World of Warcraft itself. Citrus Cherry's flavor formula remained the same, and it was marketed under the name "Mountain Dew Game Fuel Horde Red" as it represented the Horde, while and "Mountain Dew Game Fuel Alliance Blue" (Game Fuel (Wild Fruit)) represented the Alliance.

(2011) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Game Fuel (Citrus Cherry) returned yet again with another new companion flavor, Game Fuel (Tropical) in October 2011 for a limited time. It got; another rebranded design to coincide with a video game shooter, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

This time around, the two Dew flavors feature generated codes from under the bottle cap that earns players double experience points (2XP), where consumers had to go to the Dew XP website to enter them. The Dew XP website had to be linked through the Call of Duty online account before you would get the double XP (2XP) in-game. It also awarded consumers access to exclusive giveaways of Call of Duty themed promotional material.

Game Fuel (Citrus Cherry)'s formula remained unchanged. The two paired Dew flavors stayed on shelves until the end of the year. When the Dew XP promotion ended, both Dew flavors were discontinued until the following year.

(2012) Halo 4

Main article: Dew XP

Game Fuel (Citrus Cherry) has returned yet again for another limited time but this time, no Dew flavor companion was released alongside it. Citrus Cherry was officially released on October 15th for a limited time, where it received a different rebranded design to coincide with a new video game, Halo 4 as a part of the Dew XP Promotion.

Much like the previous year, this Dew XP promotion allowed fans to go online and enter codes found on specially-marked Mountain Dew and Doritos packaging. These codes unlocked extra in-game experience for their career in Halo 4. The Dew XP promotion ended on January 31st, 2013, and Game Fuel (Citrus Cherry) was subsequently discontinued while Doritos's packaging reverted to its usual branding.

(2013) Every2Minutes

Main article: Every2Minutes

Game Fuel (Citrus Cherry) returned again with another new companion flavor, Game Fuel (Electrifying Berry) in August 2013 for another limited time. However, unlike previous promotions, the two Dew flavors were supporting different games, Game Fuel (Citrus Cherry) supporting Dead Rising 3 as well as a Forza 5, and Game Fuel (Electrifying Berry) supporting Ryse: Son of Rome as well as Kinect Sports Rivals.

These two paired Dew flavors also gave a chance to win an Xbox One online that the website auction off one Xbox One for Every2Minutes. This promotion had the same concept as 2005's Every10Minutes and 2017's Every60Seconds in this case. In addition to this, the Slurpee form of Game Fuel (Citrus Cherry) was brought back to coincide with this limited-time release. The two Dew flavors stayed on shelves until the end of the year, where both were discontinued until the next year.

(2014 - 2022) Promotionless Permanent Release 

In May 2014, with no announcement, Game Fuel (Citrus Cherry) was released in stores as a permanent flavor in most regions in the United States in two sizes, 20-ounce bottles, and 12-packs. This version of Citrus Cherry did not feature a game promotion for the first time.

In late 2018, the Game Fuel branding from Citrus Cherry was removed from the design and transferred into a new line of energy drinks called Amp Game Fuel (later abbreviated to Game Fuel in 2021) was released in January 2019. From this point, Citrus Cherry's design did not include the words "Game Fuel" on it.

In early 2019, Citrus Cherry, as well as other flavors such as Real Sugar, Diet Code Red, White Out, Pitch Black, Caffeine-Free Mountain Dew, Caffeine-Free Diet Mountain Dew were pulled from the shelves in most regions of the United States due to potentially low sales. Most of these flavors are still getting produced sporadically along the Midwest region from independent Pepsi bottlers for unknown reasons.

In May 2022, the last bottler bottling Citrus Cherry, Wis-Pak, revealed that Citrus Cherry was no longer being bottled.

On May 25th, 2022, Wis-Pak, the last remaining bottler still producing Citrus Cherry, confirmed in a direct message that Citrus Cherry had been discontinued "for some time", officially marking its discontinuation.

(2014) Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare 

Game Fuel (Citrus Cherry) returned yet again with another new companion flavor, Game Fuel (Lemonade) in October 2014 for another limited time. It was officially released on October 6th for a limited time, where it received a different rebranded design to coincide with a video game shooter, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. The two Dew flavors stayed on shelves until the end of the year when the promotion ended, after which Game Fuel (Lemonade) got discontinued while Game Fuel (Citrus Cherry)'s packaging reverted to its usual non game-specific design.

(2015) Black Ops III

Game Fuel (Citrus Cherry) returned yet again with another new companion flavor, Game Fuel (Berry Lime) in October 2015 for another limited time. It was officially released on October 5th for a limited time, where it received a different rebranded design to coincide with a video game shooter, Call of Duty: Black Ops III. As was the case before, the two Dew flavors stayed on shelves until the end of the year when the promotion ended, with Game Fuel (Berry Lime) being discontinued while Game Fuel (Citrus Cherry)'s packaging once again reverted to its usual non game-specific design.

This 2015 limited-time release of its original flavor formula was its last glimpse before being reformulated, changing the formula containing both HFCS & the artificial sweeteners, Acesulfame Potassium, and Sucralose/Splenda. This change brings the drink to 100 calories per standard can and 170 calories per standard 20-ounce bottle. The reason for the formula change is unknown.

(2016) Titanfall 2

Game Fuel (Citrus Cherry) returned yet again with another new companion flavor, Game Fuel (Mango Heat) in October 2015 for another limited time. It was officially released on October 1st for a limited time, where it got a different rebranded design to coincide with a video game shooter, Titanfall 2. As expected, the two Dew flavors stayed on shelves until the end of the year when the promotion ended, with Game Fuel (Mango Heat) being discontinued and Game Fuel (Citrus Cherry)'s packaging reverting to its usual non game-specific design.

This particular release was Game Fuel (Citrus Cherry)'s last limited-time release coinciding with a new release of a video game. After the backlash of its "half-diet" formulation, PepsiCo (Mountain Dew's parent company) decided to make it a regular Dew flavor throughout the near future.

(2017) Every60Seconds

Main article: Every60Seconds

PepsiCo did consider giving it a return but it didn't come to fruition and as a result, Game Fuel (Citrus Cherry) did not return in the Every60Seconds promotion for 2017. Instead, PepsiCo decided to bring back two Dew flavors that had had not been out for over 5 years. These two Dew flavors were Game Fuel (Arctic Burst), a Slurpee flavor intended to promote the theatrical release of Superman Returns in 2006 and then Game Fuel (Tropical Smash), one of seven prototype Dew flavors for DEWmocracy II in 2009.

The two Dew flavors were supporting different games, Game Fuel (Arctic Burst) supporting Middle-earth: Shadow of War, and Game Fuel (Tropical Smash) supporting Forza Motorsport 7. These two paired Dew flavors also gave consumers a chance to win an Xbox One X online. The website auctioned off one Xbox One X for Every60Seconds. This promotion has the same concept as 2005's Every10Minutes and 2013's Every2Minutes in this case.

The Every60Seconds promotion ended on January 3rd, 2018, and both Game Fuel (Arctic Burst) and Game Fuel (Tropical Smash) got subsequently discontinued while Doritos's packaging reverted to its usual branding. This promotion was the last ever original Game Fuel Promotion as the Game Fuel branding got transferred into a new line of energy drinks called Amp Game Fuel (abbreviated to Game Fuel in 2021) was released in January 2019.

(2022) Championship Citrus Cherry

Championship Citrus Cherry is a version of the drink in the new Game Fuel product line. First leaked in October 2021, it was officially released on April 5th, 2021. The drink is a tie-in with internet streamer Dr. Disrespect, and features his branding on the can. The flavor is advertised as a return of the original Citrus Cherry with 'a Doc twist'.[1]

Soda Fountain release

(2017 - 2018) Arby's

In Late 2016, Game Fuel (Citrus Cherry) first appeared on the official PepsiCo Beverage Facts website. The website indicates that this flavor would be exclusively available to Arby's restaurant locations in the United States.

On January 26th, 2017, in a Twitter post, it was leaked by Pitch Black Army posting an image of Game Fuel (Citrus Chery) in a soda fountain. This sighting was the first confirmed sighting of Game Fuel (Citrus Cherry), with further sightings appearing after.

It was available at participating Arby's restaurants with the "half-diet" formula from 2016. As of April 2018, Arby's had received Coca-Cola products, so as a result, Arby’s no longer served Game Fuel (Citrus Cherry) in their soda fountains.

(2019) Sam's Club

On July 7th, 2019, in a r/MountainDew Reddit post, Citrus Cherry got first leaked by a PepsiCo employee named u/G-Up had initially claimed that Citrus Cherry would replace Berry Monsoon as the new Sam's Club exclusive drink. The time came and went, no official word about its discontinuation.

European release

Game Fuel (Citrus Cherry) was released in some European countries such as the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway for varying amounts of time before being discontinued shortly thereafter in all of those countries.

Netherlands

Game Fuel (Europe) was first released in The Netherlands in 2015, and was only available in 0.5L (US 16.9-ounce) bottles. The flavor was discontinued in 2017.

Denmark

In the same year that it was released in the Netherlands, Game Fuel was also released in Denmark, where it was sold in 0.5L (US 16.9-ounce) bottles and 330ml (US 11-ounce) cans.

A year after, it was discontinued due to potentially low sales and was replaced by Supernova.

Sweden

In 2016, it was released in Sweden under the name "Game Blast". Like in the Netherlands, it was only available in 0.5L (US 16.9-ounce) bottles. A few years later in 2020, it was discontinued due to potentially low sales.

Trivia

  • The Cherry flavor of Amp Energy Overdrive is said to taste similar to Game Fuel (Citrus Cherry) but had a less citrus flavor.
  • Game Fuel (Citrus Cherry) was unfortunately absent for 2017s Every60Seconds Promotion.
  • This flavor has a very similar color to Holiday Brew and Merry Mash-Up.
  • This is the only Mountain Dew flavor to be considered scarlet in coloration (though flavors with other shades of red exist in mass quantities).
  • Game Fuel (Citrus Cherry) was one of the many unreleased Dew flavors featured in the YouTube channel myCountyMarket.

References

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