Fads of the 90s

Sometimes I feel truly blessed that I got to experience both the 80s and the 90s. And while I was fairly young during the 80s, I can still appreciate a good tight rolled on your jeans and I still own a crimper. However, there are so many reasons to love the 90s.

However, my two favorite fads of the 90s have to be the “mini” fad and the “clear” fad.

In the early 1990s, a marketing fad equating clarity with purity began with the remake of Ivory soap from its classic milky solution; the idea spread to many companies, including PepsiCo. Crystal Pepsi was marketed as a caffeine-free “clear alternative” to normal colas, comparing clearness with purity and health. 

PepsiCo launched the cola in April of 1992, and began to sell it nationwide in 1993. A large marketing campaign was launched, for which the company invented the world’s first photo-realistic, computer-generated bus wrap printing. A series of television advertisements featuring Van Halen’s hit song “Right Now” premiered on national television on January 31, 1993, during Super Bowl XXVII. In its first year, Crystal Pepsi captured a full percentage point of U.S. soft drink sales, approximately $474 million.

Coca-Cola followed suit by launching Tab Clear in December of 1992.

Initial sales were good but quickly fell. Pepsi pulled the drink off the market and returned several months later with a reformulated citrus drink titled “Crystal From Pepsi”, but this was short-lived as well.

Funny how soda companies were trying to make their drinks look more like water…

The min fad, I believe, began our downward spiral into an obese nation. Foods started appearing in smaller sizes, not to encourage people to eat less, but to justify eating more. “Who cares if you eat an extra donut, they are small.” So you would eat 5-6 mini donuts instead of just one regular sized donut and all would be wonderful.

Mini Oreos arrived in 1991. I can still remember sitting in my friend’s tree house one afternoon, eating an entire row of the delicious, bite sized treats. There were probably 20 cookies per row, but it didn’t matter. They were small… it couldn’t be that bad.

I saw a commercial the other day for Burger King advertising mini burgers… are we heading back to the ways of the 90s? One can only hope!