Pepsi Throwback Cola Review

PepsiCo offers a retro version of their Pepsi Cola product, called   Pepsi Throwback.  They’ve come up with yet another super-tasting sweet drink that indeed calls back to mind, memories of the 16-ounce glass returnable Pepsi bottles of the 1970s.

As I drink a chilled 20-ounce plastic bottle of Pepsi Throwback alongside an equally-sized bottle of today’s Pepsi Cola while writing this, I’m moved by how much the formulas of current Pepsi and Pepsi Throwback differ. I think I like the old Pepsi better; probably because this is the flavor I grew up with, and not necessarily because that retro taste is any better than today’s flavor.

Pepsi Throwback eliminates today’s high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and instead relies on just sugar to provide its sweetness.  Indeed, Pepsi Throwback tastes less sweet than today’s Pepsi Cola.  While other factors appear identical between the two, such as caramel color, calorie counts, and caffeine levels, there is more difference in the flavors than just the sweetness.  Both flavors are unique to be sure, but Pepsi Throwback may taste more strongly of cola than the 21st century version of Pepsi Cola.  It also appears slightly less carbonated than the Pepsi of 2012.


Benefits, Pros, Advantages, And Features

  • You get sugar in all its dubious yet delicious glory in this Pepsi product.
  • The flavor is nostalgic.  So folks who were raised with Pepsi as an occasional treat drink back in the 1960s and 1970s will really be taken back to those long-ago but simpler times.
  • It’s low sodium, at just 65 milligrams of sodium per 20-ounce serving.
  • The fizz, caramel color, and sweetness level closely approximates those of modern Pepsi Cola.  So you won’t notice much of a difference if you decide to give up your modern-day Pepsi for a day, and try out this Pepsi Throwback Cola.
  • The white label makes Pepsi Throwback easy to find amid the myriad other Pepsi products at the store; though I’ve only ever seen it at a local convenience store so far.  It looks a lot like the Pepsi pop cans from 35 years ago.
  • Pepsi Throwback has roughly the same level of fizz and zip as modern Pepsi, and retains it after opening for about as long  before going flat.
  • The overall taste is smooth, zippy, sweet, and reminiscent of wonderful times.  Part of its appeal is that it comes from an earlier era, and PepsiCo has done well in their efforts to bring forward this back-then so common Pepsi flavor.


Disadvantages, Cons, Problems, and Concerns

  • I noticed a slight and sour aftertaste develop in my mouth several minutes after a swig of Pepsi Throwback.
  • This is a sugary soft drink that contains 250 calories per 20-ounce bottle.  So diabetics should avoid this beverage except for under very controlled circumstances, and they should always have their insulin standing by.  But really, there’s no reason to drink a sugary Pepsi soda these days with the advent of Pepsi Max and the improved version of Diet Pepsi out there.
  • This cola contains 63 milligrams of caffeine in a 20-ounce bottle, which is a moderate amount for a caffeine-laden cola soft drink.  I hope that they eventually create a caffeine-free version of Pepsi Throwback.
  • The best-if-used-by date on the bottle was three months out from the date I bought this bottle.  So you can store Pepsi Throwback for a few months anyhow without degradation in taste.


Product Rating

Now that I’ve finished one bottle of this product and one bottle of today’s Pepsi Cola, I’ll close this review by noting that my palate adores this retro soft drink more than today’s Pepsi.  But the caffeine and sugar still repel me a bit.  While I’m glad they took the HFCS out of this version of Pepsi however, I’d nonetheless drink this only on rare occasions.  So while I’d recommend this for healthy humans, I’d also caution my elders with prehypertension or high blood pressure to be careful consuming this version of Pepsi because of the caffeine.  I’d therefore rate this product at 87 of 100.


Where To Buy Pepsi Throwback Cola

Look for the white bottles, cans, and white cartons of this Pepsi at your favorite larger grocery stores.  They sport the old-style red, white, and blue Pepsi logo on the front.  I purchased mine at Sheetz here in Altoona.




Revision History

  • : Moved this post to the   Tom’s Diet Quest   blog, added whitespace, adjusted ad placement, revised content, and rearranged category and tag assignments.
  • 2012-04-23: Originally published.