The Impulsive Buy

REVIEW: Mtn Dew Kickstart Energizing Original Dew

Mtn Dew Kickstart Energizing Original Dew is giving us a possible taste of the future…

…a dystopian future.

Oh, wait. I mean DEWstopian DEWture.

Over the past year or so, PepsiCo has made an effort to lower the amount of sugar in its beverages. In the Mtn Dew Universe, we’ve seen the advancement of this plan with most of the new flavors, like Ice and Game Fuel.

Instead of using only high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), they contain a cocktail of HFCS, sucralose, and acesulfame potassium. This has resulted in:

  1. Lower sugar amounts that are around half of previous Mtn Dew flavors.
  2. A flood angry tweets, Reddit comments, and Facebook posts from Dew fans chastising the change.

The original flavors have been immune to this, and, I believe, it’s been stated they will never change. But I feel as if the new Kickstart Energizing Original Dew is the toe being dipped into the radioactive green pool sweetened with HFCS, sucralose, and acesulfame potassium to find out if original Mtn Dew COULD change. Because this Kickstart flavor, which has that trio of sweeteners, is what I imagine the original would taste like if it’s reformulated to lower its sugar content.

From what I’ve experienced with those Dew flavors that have been cursed with the saccharine salmagundi, they’ve all tasted, for a lack of a better word, diet-y. And after taking my first sip of this, I thought someone secretly replaced what should’ve been in the can with a flat store brand version of Diet Mtn Dew. But it’s not quite like a diet soda since it has 20 grams of sugar per can. It looks and tastes as if it’s in the Dew family, but like a second cousin or something.

But while Kickstart Energizing Original Dew tastes like a diet knockoff, so does the Kickstart ULTRA version, a beverage with less than one gram of sugar per can. It’s able to accomplish this by swapping the HFCS with coconut water. This makes it taste a bit more diet-y than the regular one. It also makes it easier to drink. Actually, both are smoother than original and diet Dew.

Overall, I like both of these new Kickstart varieties, but I enjoy them as much as most of the others in the line. So they didn’t stand out, even though they’re based on the original.

I find them to be more palatable than regular Diet Mtn Dew and I like that they have a little bit more caffeine per ounce than the original soda. So if this is the future of original Mtn Dew, I’d be okay with it.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 can – Kickstart – 80 calories, 0 grams of fat, 170 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 20 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein and 90 milligrams of caffeine. Kickstart Ultra – 5 calories, 0 grams of fat, 180 milligrams of sodium, 1 gram of carbs, less than 1 gram of sugar, 0 grams of protein, and 90 milligrams of caffeine.)

Purchased Price: $1.89 each
Size: 16 fl. oz. can
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Kickstart)
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Kickstart Ultra)
Pros: Less sugar than regular Mtn Dew. Better tasting than Diet Mtn Dew. Kickstart Ultra is a better name for Kickstart varieties with coconut water than Hydrating Boost.
Cons: Won’t be enjoyed by those who don’t like PepsiCo’s efforts to put less sugar in Mtn Dew. Tastes like what I imagine original Mtn Dew would taste like if PepsiCo tried to lower its sugar content. The DEWstopian DEWture