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Pitch Black

Pitch Black (known in South Korea as "Wild Black" and also known in Canada as "Alerte Noire") is a Mountain Dew flavor first released in August 2004 for a limited time in the United States and Canada for Halloween. Since then, it had multiple releases each for 2011 and 2016, where it won and became a permanent flavor in the United States. Around 2019-2020 it was discontinued due to low sales except for soda fountains in the United States and was fully discontinued there in 2022, making Pitch Black an international flavor only.

Description

Pitch Black was originally a Black Grape flavored Mountain Dew back in 2004 and 2011. Its flavor was slightly changed for its 2015 and 2016 releases, incorporating citrus and dark fruit[1] flavor. It is similar in terms of concept and flavor to its one spinoff flavor, Pitch Black II. Its color, as its name implies, has a dark purple look, similar to complete darkness.

Tagline

Its tagline during its 2004 and 2011 releases was "DEW with a Blast of Black Grape with Other Natural Flavors." During its 2016 re-release, its tagline was removed altogether. Internationally, its catchphrase is "DEW with a Punch of Grape Citrus Flavour."

History

2004 Original Limited-Time Store release

Pitch Black was released in stores for a limited time throughout stores nationwide in the United States from August 21st, 2004 to October 31st, 2004 for the Halloween season. During its limited-time run, its overall popularity proved very successful to the point where the parent company, PepsiCo, took note of it and decided to re-release it for next year, but with a twist of its flavor.

2005 Sequel Limited-Time Store release

Main article: Pitch Black II

After the success of Pitch Black's initial release in 2004, PepsiCo decided to bring it back with a slight flavor alteration as with a new name. This new product would be known as Pitch Black II and made its way to shelves in the Halloween season of 2005. During its 2005 run, the flavor proved a decent success.

2006 7-Eleven Slurpee Limited-Time release

At the beginning of October 2006, select participating 7-Eleven locations began offering the original, non-sour Pitch Black for a limited time operating under the name of "Mountain Dew Pitch Black Freeze," which lasted until the end of October 2006.

2011 Back by Popular DEWmand Limited-Time release

Main article: Back by Popular DEWmand

After popular demand to bring back some discontinued Dew flavors, Mountain Dew announced that 2004's Pitch Black, 2008's Supernova and 2010's Typhoon would be returning for a limited time together over the summer of 2011 as a part of the Back by Popular DEWmand promotion. It lasted until July 25th of that year.

2015 Giveaway

In December 2015, Mountain Dew announced via their Facebook page that 1,050 people would have the chance to win a unique limited run of Pitch Black by posting why they wanted Pitch Black and using the hashtag #WeWantPitchBlack in the post.

DEWcision 2016

Main article: DEWcision 2016

DEWcision 2016 held an opportunity for Baja Blast and Pitch Black to be the next permanent Dew flavor in a national voting session giving fans the chance to vote on their favorite flavor. Long time Pitch Black fans waited for this moment to come. These Dew fans took it to the next level with Twitter hashtags and challenges issued by Mountain Dew. After a long steady battle for Baja Blast and Pitch Black, Baja Blast lost to Pitch Black by a small margin, and Baja Blast was discontinued, leaving Pitch Black permanent, winning DEWcision 2016. It was officially re-released to stores on December 5th of that year.

In early 2019, Pitch Black, as well as other flavors, Real Sugar, Diet Code Red, Citrus Cherry, White Out, 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 being produced from independent Pepsi bottlers for unknown reasons. Because of this, Pitch Black was only found in soda fountains in locations such as Sheetz, Maverik, Kum & Go, and Chevron.

In 2022, Maverik announced that the manufacturer that still produced fountain Pitch Black no longer produced it, making it officially discontinued in the United States.

Pitch Black Zero Sugar

In March 2020, a listing on the official PepsiCo Beverage Facts website was discovered of Pitch Black Zero Sugar. The website indicates that this flavor would be exclusively available to Speedway gas stations in the United States, but it did not came into fruition.

On June 22nd, 2022, PepsiCo filed a trademark for Pitch Black, the full sugar variant titled "MTN DEW PITCH BLACK." On that same day, another trademark was filed for its zero sugar variation titled "MTN DEW ZERO SUGAR PITCH BLACK."

International release

Canada

At the same time when Pitch Black was released in America, following the American release of Pitch Black in August 2004, Pitch Black was getting sold in Canada. This version was sold without caffeine due to laws preventing caffeine from being added to non-dark soft drinks. It was known as Mountain Dew Alerte Noire in French.

Unlike in the United States, Pitch Black's sour sequel Pitch Black II was never released in Canada.

South Korea

Pitch Black was released in South Korea as "마운틴듀 와일드블랙" (Mountain Dew Wild Black) for the Summer of 2006, to coincide with the "Be the Racer" promotion. The drink was sold in 250ml (8-ounce) Cans and 500ml (16.9-ounce) bottles. The packaging branded it with "A Blast of Grape."[2] This drink's release used the 2005-2009 logo, and its label art was similar to that of Pitch Black II.

There's not much currently known about this release, and it was likely released for only a short time. It was likely to be discontinued sometime in the Mid-2000s, as it was available when Code Red was on the shelves in 2006.

New Zealand

Pitch Black was introduced in New Zealand in 2011, alongside LiveWire and Electro Shock. This flavor was the first version to use the international "Grape Citrus" formula used in Asian countries.

In 2012, it was later discontinued due to potentially low sales and replaced by Passionfruit Frenzy, a new unique original flavor made by New Zealand.

Malaysia

In 2013, Pitch Black was released in Malaysia alongside LiveWire.

In 2014, DEWmocracy Malaysia took place. This promotion held an opportunity for LiveWire and Pitch Black, alongside newcomer Blue Shock to be the next permanent Dew flavor in a national voting session for fans to vote on their favorite of the three flavors. After a long steady battle, LiveWire and Pitch Black lost to Blue Shock. Despite the outcome, all three flavors remain available.

As of 2021, this flavor was currently listed as an offering on Etika Holdings' website. [3]

Singapore

In 2013, DEWmocracy Singapore took place. The promotion pitted Pitch Black against classic flavor LiveWire to be the next permanent Dew flavor in a national voting session where fans could vote on their favorite of the two flavors. After a steady battle, Pitch Black was announced as the winner in a live announcement on November 1, 2013, and became a permanent flavor soon afterwards.

As of 2021, this flavor was listed as an offering on Etika Holdings' website. [4]

The Philippines

In 2014, Pitch Black and LiveWire were released in The Philippines. Both were sold during the summer season in the country until 2017.

Pakistan

In 2016, DEWmocracy Pakistan took place, which introduced Pitch Black, Blue Shock, and LiveWire into the country. The promotion pitted all three flavors in a battle to be the next permanent Dew flavor in a national voting session were fans could vote on their favorite of the three flavors. After a long steady battle, Pitch Black was announced as the winner in a live announcement on August 1st, 2016, and became a new permanent flavor.

It is unclear that if Pitch Black is still getting sold in Pakistan.

Soda Fountain

(2016 - 2019) Speedway

In January 2016, Pitch Black arrived at select Speedway convenience store locations in the United States as a fountain drink (and in some locations as a freeze). It expected to leave Speedway once the DEWcision 2016 promotion began. However, most, if not in the case, all Speedway locations that sell Pitch Black have continued to offer the flavor while coinciding with the DEWcision 2016 promotion.

As of April 13th, 2019, it was confirmed by Speedway's social networking team that Pitch Black was replaced by Cyclone as the new exclusive Dew flavor.

(2016 - 2019) Circle K

In July 2016, it was reported that Pitch Black had arrived at select Circle K convenience store locations as a fountain drink permanently (and in some locations as a freeze until at the end of 2018). However, 2020's introduction Mountain Dew Zero Sugar was released in most Circle K convenience stores alike, Pitch Black alongside Mountain Dew Ice was later replaced by Mountain Dew Zero Sugar in February 2020.

(2016 - 2022) Maverik

In July 2016, Pitch Black arrived at some Maverik store locations as a fountain drink permanently. It is also available at most other gas stations in Utah. In 2022, Maverik announced that they were no longer getting Pitch Black due to the manufacturer making it discontinuing it

(2018 - 2022) Sheetz

In April 2018, Pitch Black arrived at select Sheetz convenience store locations as a fountain drink permanently. In 2022, due to the manufacturer making Pitch Black discontinuing it, it is no longer available at Sheetz

(2018 - 2022) Kum & Go

In May 2018, Pitch Black arrived in most Kum & Go convenience store locations as a fountain drink permanently. In May 2020, Pitch Black was replaced by Atomic Blue as the new exclusive Dew flavor in some Kum & Go locations, which was later replaced at some locations with Major Melon.

(2018) Blake's Lotaburger

At the end of July 2018, Pitch Black arrived at Blake's Lotaburger locations. It is unclear if it's still available at any locations.

(2016 - 2022) Select Convenience Stores

Throughout many years of its availability, Pitch Black was released in other select regional convenience stores across the United States. Most of these releases were short-lived, meaning that Pitch Black made a release in a certain franchise, but there was little to document.

These conclusive franchises that have Pitch Black in soda fountains were Chevron, Cumberland Farms, Pilot/Flying J, Stewart's, and more unverifiable locations. Due to Fountain Pitch Black being discontinued, it is no longer available at these locations.

Trivia

  • Pitch Black is one of seven grape-flavored Mountain Dew variants (see "Related Flavors" in the infobox).
  • Pitch Black was a permanent flavor in New Zealand until it was replaced with Passionfruit Frenzy. However, LiveWire and Code Red still remain available. Voltage (which goes under the name "Electro Shock") remained a permanent flavor until 2014 when it was replaced by White Out.
  • It was one of the most frequently reappearing 'Limited Time' flavors, counting spinoff flavors and various international appearances. As of now, Pitch Black has been made permanent in the Mountain Dew lineup in the United States, its homeland (Including Speedway, Circle K, Sheetz, 7-Eleven, and more).
  • The Creature From The Black Lagoon or "Gillman" was somewhat of a mascot for Pitch Black & Pitch Black II as it appeared in several advert pieces holding the soda.
  • This flavor was the first Halloween-themed flavor to release, first Pitch Black, second Pitch Black II, third VooDEW (2019), fourth VooDEW (2020) fifth VooDEW (2021), and sixth VooDEW (2022).
  • This flavor is the third flavor to win a vote in the United States to become a permanent flavor and later be discontinued, after Diet Supernova and White Out.
  • A bottle of Pitch Black can be seen on the art of Baja Deep Dive. Whether this is meant to be a simple reference/cameo or has to do with the flavor itself remains unknown.

References

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