Think you’d never see your favorite childhood soda again? Not so. Companies like Coca-Cola have their fingers crossed that adult-you is just like childhood-you, but with more disposable income to fight off slumping soft drink sales.
This year, we’ve seen a slew of soda brands return from the grave—some with long legacies and some who were just a flash in the pan. Here are six of 2015’s beverage comebacks we found particularly noteworthy...
1. Original New York Seltzer
The return of sodas from the ’80s and ’90s has been a surprisingly hot topic in 2015, and kicking off the trend was Original New York Seltzer. The flavored seltzer brand that was first founded in 1981, ironically in California, was extremely popular throughout the ’80s, hitting hard times about a decade later. But, this past May, the brand rebooted and now has six flavors available in stores nationwide.
2. Clearly Canadian
Another fruit-flavored clear soda that made a splash by announcing its return earlier this year was Clearly Canadian. The beverage was founded in 1987, and its unique bottle was easy to spot throughout the ’90s. However, the company made some bold choices (Orbitz, anyone?) and by 2009 had stopped production. But recently, venture capitalist Robert R. Kahn snagged the brand and, thanks to a crowd-sourcing campaign, four flavors of Clearly Canadian are reportedly shipping out to those who backed the project as we speak.
Of all the sodas to make a comeback this year, probably none was as highly anticipated as Surge—Coca-Cola’s ’90s Mountain Dew ripoff that has maintained a devoted following since it was discontinued back in 2003. Yes, the cult carbonated drink has been back for sale on Amazon since last year (assuming it wasn’t sold out), but as of this week, the Coca-Cola company promises you’ll be able to find Surge on store shelves in at least 24 states. And here you thought people who started Facebook fan pages were wasting their lives.
It’s not only national soda brands who have gotten a second life as of late; local companies have been on the comeback trail as well. Last month, the 100-year-old Pennsylvania-based soda A-Treat was re-launched a mere eight months after it was forced to shut down. The brand, originally founded in 1918, was scooped up by Jaindl Companies who already has black cherry, birch beer, big blue, ginger ale, sarsaparilla, orange, root beer, grapefruit, cream and diet cream flavors headed to store shelves.
Eight months without A-Treat is nothing. Try 53 years. That’s how long the Akron-based soda brand Norka laid dormant until a local entrepreneur decided to reintroduce the sparkling beverage earlier this year. The soda, whose name is simply Akron spelled backwards, is currently available in four flavors: Cherry-Strawberry, Orange, Ginger Ale and Root Beer.
6. Crystal Pepsi
If there’s a white whale of the vintage soda world, it’s probably the infamous Crystal Pepsi—Pepsi’s attempt at a clear cola that was launched with huge fanfare in 1992 and was pulled off the market by 1993. Ever since, cola lovers and masochists alike have yearned for the strangely clear beverage to return. Though Pepsi has yet to announce an official comeback, a very cryptic message to Crystal Pepsi fans from June of this year said they would “be happy with what’s in store.” 2015 ain’t done yet—so best of luck, Ahabs.