Victoria de la Huerga,
right, and Donna Parker, creators of
What is Josta?
Josta was a soda that was marketed by PepsiCo in 1995 with exotic overtones, from the package graphics to the mysterious ingredient Guarana.
It was supposed to be sexy, a bit dangerous, and the Guarana was rumored to be a powerful stimulant. It was available in a variety of sizes, and was pulled from production some time in 1999, presumably due to sales that were below expectations.
What did it taste like?
Very difficult to describe. It's safe to say it was the most uniquely-flavored beverage sold in the mainstream soda market. It is fruity and berry like, with a bit of spice and the astringent bite of Guarana berries. The color is a deep red, almost brown.
I initially didn't know what to make of it, but after a couple bottles fell completely in love. There is nothing out there that compares.
What is Guarana?
It's a berry that grows in South America, and in Brazil and other such nations is a major player in the soda market. It is touted as
a stimulant, and as such Josta was marketed as having energy boosting qualities. Click here for info on Guarana.
Why did it fail?
Good question. It isn't like it was a short-lived concoction like
Pepsi Blue, which I recall lasted for about 10 months. Josta was around for about 3 or 4 years, so you'd think it'd have been well
established, wouldn't you?
The thing is, as I recall even after a couple years it was only available in 20oz bottles in my area. No 2-liter bottles, no 6- or 12-packs. Just individual little bottles. I wasn't rich back then, so even though I adored it, I couldn't afford to buy as much as if it were
available in more cost-effective containers.
Pepsi had set expectations that couldn't possibly be met if they didn't distribute the full lineup to all markets. There also was no diet version.
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