REVIEW: Pepsi Next Cherry Vanilla & Pepsi Next Paradise Mango

Cherry Vanilla Pepsi Next & Paradise Mango Pepsi Next

Crystal Pepsi must be jealous of the reduced sugar Pepsi Next. During its year of existence, Pepsi never released other Crystal Pepsi flavors. Diet Crystal Pepsi doesn’t count.

But the reduced calorie Pepsi Next has been around for just four months and it already has two new varieties — Cherry Vanilla and Paradise Mango.

I know that probably would make Crystal Pepsi so mad it would want to pop its top, but it would struggle to do so because, after 20 years, all its carbonation is gone. Well, at least there is some love for Crystal Pepsi, in the form of a disorganized effort to bring it back via numerous Facebook fan pages.

Cherry vanilla is a flavor we’ve seen before from Pepsi. Remember Pepsi Cherry Vanilla and Diet Pepsi Cherry Vanilla? You don’t? Well, the Internet does and so do I. Pepsi Next Cherry Vanilla smells more like Pepsi Vanilla than Pepsi Wild Cherry, but in my mouth the vanilla and cherry flavors are equally balanced. Because of that, it has a milder cherry flavor than Pepsi Wild Cherry. There’s a slight artificial sweetener aftertaste, but it’s far less harsh than Diet Pepsi.

As for Pepsi Next Paradise Mango, its aroma didn’t register as mango to my nose, instead it smelled more like apricots. Because of my past experiences with mango flavored beverages, I presumed this soda was going to have an extremely artificial mango flavor, but I was pleasantly surprised that wasn’t the case. I don’t know how the mad scientists at Pepsi did it, but they created a cola with a nearly authentic mango flavor. I say, “nearly” because its aftertaste is a bit artificial and the soda as a whole becomes a little more unnatural tasting the warmer it gets.

Now this is the part of the review where I bring up aspartame and high fructose corn syrup. Just like regular Pepsi Next, both of these flavors contain the sweeteners. If the comments in our original Pepsi Next review are any indication, people have strong negative opinions about them and they like to share those opinions with other people. For those of you who don’t want to look back through the 100+ comments, here’s what I vaguely remember the comment thread looked like.

Commenter #1: “Aspartame is evil!”

Commenter #2: “High fructose corn syrup is making everyone fat! It’s evil!”

Commenter #1: “No, aspartame is evil!”

Commenter #2: “No, HFCS is evil!”

Commenter #1: “ASPARTAME!”


Commenter #1: “Oh my God, you’re so hot when you’re angry! Let’s make out!”

Commenter #2: “Okay!”

Commenter #1: “Mmmmm.”

Commenter #2: “Mmmmm.”

Commenter #1: “Oooh baby, you have a fine, tight aspartame.”

Yup, I believe the comments went something like that.

Pepsi Next Cherry Vanilla & Pepsi Next Paradise Mango are both really good. I want to say they’re a step above regular Pepsi Next, but that could be my taste buds talking who are slightly tired of Pepsi Next since I’ve been drinking a lot of it over the past few months. These two new Pepsi Next flavors should continue to make Crystal Pepsi jealous because they’re good enough to ensure the Pepsi Next line will exist longer than Crystal Pepsi did.

Disclosure: We received free Pepsi Next Cherry Vanilla & Pepsi Next Paradise Mango samples from the fine bubbly folks at Pepsi in order to do this review. They came in a nice plexiglass box with a beach scene at the bottom of it with real sand. To be honest, I don’t know what I’m going to do with the box.

(Nutrition Facts – 12 ounces – 60 calories, 0 grams of fat, 60 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 15 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.)

Item: Pepsi Next Cherry Vanilla & Pepsi Next Paradise Mango
Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 12 ounces
Purchased at: Received from the folks at Pepsi
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Cherry Vanilla)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Paradise Mango)
Pros: If you enjoy Pepsi Next and your taste buds want more variety, these will do nicely. Less sugar than regular Pepsi. Equal balance of cherry and vanilla. Nearly authentic mango flavor. Going to be around longer than Crystal Pepsi.
Cons: 38 mg of caffeine per can. Slight artificial sweetener aftertaste. Too many bring back Crystal Pepsi Facebook fan pages. Mango flavor becomes a little unnatural as the soda gets warmer. Those who hate aspartame and/or HFCS will not like it.

18 thoughts to “REVIEW: Pepsi Next Cherry Vanilla & Pepsi Next Paradise Mango”

  1. Man, I was kinda excited to see the Mango one (Mango anything = yay!) but… it tasted like carbonated dirt to me. Bummer.

    The Cherry Vanilla one was slightly less gross, but still nothing I’d choose to drink. Not as long as there is Throwback lurking on the shelves.


  2. Normally I’d say these would be perfect for mixed drinks, but they sound a bit much in theory. Then again, when you’ve got cake-flavored vodka, all bets are off.

  3. If you, Mr. Reviewer, like these drinks, well I can’t really help you. If you enjoy drinking a poisonous chemical concoction of HFCS & 3 artificial sweeteners, I can’t help you. When you develop diabetes, liver disease, and neurological disorders from drinking this poison, I won’t be able to help you. But Pepsi will be happy you chose to spend your money on their products while you were alive.

  4. My roomie and I have been going through a lot of the Cherry Vanilla. She won’t drink regular HFCS/cane sugar soda, and I normally won’t drink diet but it’s a nice balance. I’m stuck on Ithaca Soda Co Root Beer made w/hops but at $1.29 for a 12oz glass bottle I limit my purchases.

  5. One of the byproducts of aspartame metabolism is formaldehyde. It’s addictive ’cause it kills brain cells.

    1. I think we should really be concerned that the number one ingredient in these beverages is Dihydrogen Monoxide. Dihydrogen Monoxide is a colorless and odorless chemical compound, also referred to by some as Dihydrogen Oxide, Hydrogen Hydroxide, Hydronium Hydroxide, or simply Hydric acid. Its basis is the highly reactive hydroxyl radical, a species shown to mutate DNA, denature proteins, disrupt cell membranes, and chemically alter critical neurotransmitters. The atomic components of DHMO are found in a number of caustic, explosive and poisonous compounds such as Sulfuric Acid, Nitroglycerine and Ethyl Alcohol.

      1. It should be illegal to use, store, or transfer Dihydrogen Monoxide. Many people this time of year will fill inflatable flexible bags with the chemical and hurl them at their so-called friends. The government even uses it for “special interrogation” sessions! WAKE UP SHEEPLE! Ban all chemicals, molecules and atoms from everything.

  6. Never even knew they had Mango flavored Pepsi. I will have to try it, even if it is diet.

  7. Been a Pepsi drinker as a tot all around the world. Tried the Next and loved it so picked up the Cnerry Vanilla. A grand slam my taste buds had a coming out party and just when I thought they were shorting out. Thanks guys It’s off to Target to load up and also give Mango a try and I don’t even drink diet soda.

  8. I did try the mango variety (my friend bought it and offered me a sip). I thought it was alright, although I probably wouldn’t buy it for myself. If I did…well it would be to mix with some sort of coconut rum. coconut…

    1. I’m sorry we can’t help you, since we have no affiliation with Pepsi. But here in the US, that flavor is no longer available, so it might not be available everywhere else.

  9. Back in 1991 up in PA I can remember getting Pepsi Tropical and Rasberry and lemon lime and another flavor. They never made it south though. They were very very good and I brought a bunch home with me. Will they ever introduce them again. I am looking for the new Cherry Vanilla and Mango and 1893 but can not find them. Are they only at Wal-Mart? We are very much a strictly Pepsi family. My husband can go thru as much as 10 liters a week. I have to fight to get him to drink water. LOL. Good luck with the new flavors.

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