Thursday, October 11, 2007
The Crush Cream Soda Conspiracy
For me, this began last year around Halloween. I purchased a Rainbow Pack of Crush pop from Wal-Mart. I opened a can of cream soda, and lo and behold, the liquid was clear in color instead of the usual red/pink. I thought to myself, hunh, I wonder if they're changing the color? If they were, I wasn't a big fan of that idea because I like the red. It's the only brand that is red in color.
My co-worker came in the office today with a plastic bottle of cream soda and we got to talking about how I had seen clear cream soda. He said he knows he's had clear cream soda before, but thought they just produced two different colors normally. In true John fashion, I decided to call the 1-800 number on the side of the can. I was determined to figure out what was happening to Crush cream soda.
I called in and explained my question, thinking I would hear the answer of "yes, we're phasing out the red color" or "we produce two different colors all the time." The answer I received, from a concerned-sounding agent, was that cream soda should always be red. She said the clear color was a quality issue. She asked me if I had the can with codes printed on the bottom, the UPC bar code from the outside of the pack, when it was purchased, and at what store. I was at work, so didn't have the info handy. She gave me a case number and asked me to call back with as much information I could find. From the information, she wanted to contact the manufacturer about the issue. She also suggested I not consume the product -- not because it was unsafe, but that it may not be up to the same quality standards and might taste slightly different.
The last batch of cream soda I purchased was from Costco a few months ago. I knew that pack also contained the clear cream soda, so tonight I came home and opened the can to verify. I will take the can and call the 1-800 number back again and give the info.
What's weird is that I know for a fact that I have walked past bottles of cream soda in the grocery store as well as a convenience store that have had clear colored cream soda. I've seen it enough times now that I automatically assumed that they were making a product change. The company, however, insists that this is not the case. So what is the real story behind this clear cream soda?