In 2015, cola brand Mountain Dew debuted a flavor named DEWshine, which paid homage to "the brand's roots in the backwoods of Tennessee," according to Mountain Dew spokesperson Jennifer Ryan (via USA Today). Despite what its name might suggest, the beverage wasn't alcoholic. The clear drink was citrus-flavored and was sold in transparent glass bottles that many believed resembled those used for beer.
The beverage immediately drew the attention of an alcohol advocacy group, Alcohol Justice. Michael Scippa, the group's director of public affairs, believed the bottle was designed this way to entice children and young adults to consume the sugar-filled soda. However, PepsiCo countered that this wasn't the case, as the company had used similar bottles in the past. The flavor was sold in 12-ounce bottles and 25-ounce jugs, with each 12-ounce bottle containing 46 grams of sugar. Unfortunately, despite how appealing DEWshine may have been to young consumers at the time, it has since joined the long list of discontinued Mountain Dew flavors.
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PepsiCo Opposed Ole Smoky Moonshine's Trademark Application
Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery shared sentiments with the Alcohol Justice activist group, stating that Mountain Dew's DEWshine bottles were misleading. In a claim, the alcohol brand alleged that DEWshine was wordplay on the term "moonshine," pointing to text on the product's PepsiCo webpage that read, "Available legally for the first time." In a separate claim, Mountain Dew denied that the bottle's design was misleading.
These events took place after Ole Smoky Moonshine attempted to trademark "Ole Smoky Mountain Dew Moonshine," as the name linked back to the alcoholic beverage's roots. Due to the public's association of the term "Mountain Dew" with the soda brand, PepsiCo felt Ole Smoky Distillery was actually the misleading party. The Gatlinburg-based spirits brand was thrown off guard when PepsiCo opposed its rights to own the "Ole Smoky Mountain Dew Moonshine" trademark, resulting in a legal battle.
In 2019, the distillery dropped the rights to the trademark, allowing widespread use of the term. Unfortunately, this wasn't until two years after PepsiCo had already discontinued DEWshine (via The U.S. Sun).
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