Mountain Dew, or MTN DEW as it’s now marketed, is a staple among thrill-seekers and extreme sports enthusiasts.
Whenever there’s a race or sports competition that includes thrills, you can expect one of the contestants to have a sponsorship affiliation with Mountain Dew.
The brand markets itself towards the young who are looking to live life on the edge.
As ingrained as Mountain Dew is in culture, you may wonder who actually owns Mountain Dew.
Here’s what you need to know about Mountain Dew and who owns it.
Is MTN DEW A Pepsi Product?
Yes, Mountain Dew is a Pepsi product.
Although it originally started as its own brand, Pepsi ended up buying the company in 1964.
It changed quite a bit about the drink and has put the drink through various marketing campaigns that have led to its popularity.
What Is The History Of Mountain Dew?
The history of Mountain Dew stretches back to the 1940s.
A pair of siblings named Barney and Ally Hartman were the original creators.
They wanted to make the perfect mixer with bourbon.
Having moved to Tennessee, they found that their preferred mixer, Natural Set-Up, wasn’t available in the state.
They decided to make their own and use it for themselves.
They made a caffeine-free and lemon-lime flavored beverage that was similar to Sprite.
Their creation, made in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee, was enjoyable enough that they decided to try and sell it.
They called the brew Mountain Dew.
The name was a nod towards prohibition in which alcohol became illegal to sell.
To satisfy their own alcohol-drinking needs, people started making their own brews called moonshine.
One of the nicknames for moonshine is mountain dew.
The siblings went with the marketing and made Mountain Dew a staple of hillbilly life.
However, Barney eventually died of a heart attack and the company struggled to sell its product outside of Tennessee.
They eventually sold the company to the Tip Corporation of Marion, Virginia.
Who Invented The Flavor Of Mountain Dew?
There’s a lot of debate over who the actual creator of the flavor associated with Mountain Dew is.
Some give credit to Bill Jones of the Tip Corporation.
Those who do state that the hometown of Mountain Dew is Marion, Virginia.
They claim that Jones started to tweak the formula by adding tangy flavor to it.
He’d then take the new formula and have various residents in Marion try it to find the formula that was the best.
Others argue that Johnson City, Tennessee is the true birthplace of the Mountain Dew flavor that everyone knows today.
They credit Bill Bridgeforth for coming up with the flavor.
The story is that Bridgeforth started to add his own Tri-City Lemonade to the mixture.
It gave the drink a citrus flavor which grew popular.
Regardless of which version you support, the original flavor of Mountain Dew became modified to its current citric version.
When Did Pepsi Buy Mountain Dew?
After the Tip Corporation got ahold of Mountain Dew, they changed the flavor for the better.
However, they still struggled with their marketing.
They tried to sell it to Coca-Cola, but the corporation wasn’t interested in it.
It wasn’t until 1964 that the Pepsi Corporation took an interest in Mountain Dew.
They tried the product and believed that they could do something with it.
They bought it from the Tip Corporation and started their first marketing campaign.
Pepsi wanted to capitalize on its moonshine roots.
Their first marketing campaign featured a logo that showed a man without any shoes shooting a rifle.
The image was a stereotypical version of a hillbilly living the best hillbilly life.
Pepsi was trying to capitalize on the current craze with the show The Beverly Hillbillies.
Its first commercial aired in 1966 and featured a bunch of hillbillies drinking the beverage and crying out, “Yahoo, Mountain Dew!”
The logo also used the slogan, “It’ll tickle yore innards!”
While this appealed to a certain market, Pepsi eventually moved beyond the hillbilly stereotype to focus on a younger market.
They adopted a new tagline: “Do the Dew.”
They then spend a good amount of marketing money sponsoring young athletes performing high-octane sports.
Snowboarding, racing, and even skateboarding started to feature the brand at each major competition.
The brand became associated with young athletes and people looking to find the next thrill.
“Do the Dew” became a call to live life to its fullest.
It was also during this market change that Pepsi decided to shorten its name on its logos to MTN DEW.
Does Mountain Dew Contain Yellow Five?
One of the controversial ingredients of Mountain Dew is Yellow Five.
No one can deny that part of the appeal of Mountain Dew is its incredible color.
Many don’t even have a name for the color aside from the Mountain Dew color.
To create this unique color, the manufacturers mix a variety of dyes together.
One of those dyes is Yellow Five.
Although there have been reports that Yellow Five can cause certain problems like testicle shrinkage, they have been largely disputed.
Despite that, Yellow Five does worsen some skin allergies.
Although it only affects less than 0.1% of the population, some do have an allergy to Yellow Five.
The consequences of this allergy can take the form of a rash, hives, or even cause vomiting.
Because it’s an allergen to some people, the use of Yellow Five is either limited or restricted depending on the country.
In the United States, Canada, and some countries within Europe, the use of Yellow Five in products is legal.
However, all the companies that use it have to clearly label that it contains Yellow Five in its ingredient list.
This informs its consumers who have an allergic reaction to Yellow Five to be aware of its existence within the product.
The reason that Yellow Five is an allergen is that it’s tartrazine.
Some people have sensitivity to tartrazine.
Some countries have banned its use entirely.
Austria and Norway are two examples.
Mountain Dew might label its Yellow Five ingredient as something other than Yellow Five.
It’s often written as:
- 1310 or 1409 Yellow
- Dye Yellow Lake
- Acid Leather Yellow T or Acid Yellow 23
- Cilefa Yellow T
- Calcocid Yellow MCG
- Lake Yellow
- Hispacid Fast Yellow T
- Lemon Yellow A Geigy
- Hydrazine Yellow
- Maple Tartrazol Yellow
- Oxanal Yellow T
- Trisodium salt
- Xylene Fast Yellow GT
- Wool Yellow
If you see any of the above names on your Mountain Dew ingredient list, then you know it contains Yellow Five.
If you have sensitivity to Yellow Five, then you shouldn’t drink the soda.
It can cause bronchial asthma.
One way to know if you have sensitivity to tartrazine is if you have a sensitivity to aspirin.
Mountain Dew also contains tartrazine.
Does Mountain Dew Contain Flame Retardant?
Another controversial ingredient that’s in Mountain Dew is Brominated Vegetable Oil or BVO.
In Mountain Dew, BVO acts as an emulsifier.
It helps distribute the flavor throughout the drink rather than have it settle at the bottom or top of the liquid.
The problem with BVO is that it’s also an ingredient used in making flame retardant for plastics.
Some places have banned the ingredient.
The European Union and Japan are among them.
Despite that, it’s considered safe to drink.
Manufacturers use less than 10% in their sodas.
However, its use might put some people off if they were to know that they were drinking an ingredient used for making flame retardant.
How Does Mountain Dew Get Its Flavor?
The aspect that sets Mountain Dew apart from many other sodas is its intense flavor.
When sampling Mountain Dew, you can usually pick it out from other types of soda through flavor alone.
Although Mountain Dew uses several different ingredients to enhance its flavor, there’s one in particular that does a lot of the heavy lifting.
Mountain Dew uses concentrated orange juice to give it its citric flavor.
Part of the process is to remove all the water in the orange.
All that’s left is the citric acid.
This is then added to the drink to give it an incredible flavor.
Unfortunately, it isn’t enough to add the necessary vitamin C you need to your diet.
How Much Caffeine Does Mountain Dew Have?
Mountain Dew has a reputation for many things.
One of those is the amount of caffeine it has in every bottle.
Mountain Dew has 54 milligrams of caffeine in its ingredient list.
While this may not seem like a lot when compared to certain types of coffee, it is when comparing it to other types of soda.
For comparison, classic Coca-Cola only contains 34 milligrams of caffeine.
Classic Pepsi contains 38 milligrams.
When it comes to soda, Mountain Dew has a ton of caffeine.
That’s likely why it’s such a hit with thrill-seekers and young people.
It’s often used to help binge through studying for an exam or to stay up later for a video game stream.
For athletes who are already exhausted from the day’s events, the drink can give them the boost they need to push themselves a bit more.
With that amount of caffeine, it can certainly help keep someone awake.
The FDA has tried to limit the amount of caffeine in soda beverages in the past.
In the 1980s, in particular, the organization tried to eliminate it entirely.
The manufacturers argued that caffeine acted as a flavor enhancer rather than as an active ingredient.
The organization allowed the continued use of caffeine in soda beverages as a result.
How Much Sugar Does Mountain Dew Have?
Mountain Dew clearly contains a lot of caffeine, but it also has a decent amount of sugar, too.
Like all sodas, Mountain Dew contains a heavy amount of sugar.
In a standard 12-ounce bottle of Mountain Dew, you’ll drink 77 grams of sugar.
That’s on par with eating eight sugar cookies.
Other types of soda also contain high levels of sugar.
Minute Maid juice usually has around 70 grams of sugar in its bottles.
Mug Root Beer also contains around 70 grams of sugar.
There’s no question that Mountain Dew is one of the most heavily sugared sodas on the market.
Combined with its heavy amount of caffeine, it’s almost a coffee in itself.
While sugar is often the scapegoat for other more serious health concerns, you are drinking around 18 teaspoons of sugar.
That’s a lot for your body to process, especially if you’re chugging Mountain Dew.
Before you reach for a second bottle of the drink, you might want to consider how much sugar you’re consuming.
What Is Dewshine?
Mountain Dew has had several throwbacks to its original version and roots.
In 2015, it came out with a new throwback version called Dewshine.
Although its flavor was the same Mountain Dew everyone knows and loves, the marketing struggled.
One of the reasons it failed was the design of the bottles.
Dewshine used glass bottles that were reminiscent of beer bottles.
It harkened back to the moonshine days which inspired the drink in the first place.
The problem is that the use of glass bottles made it confusing for its customers.
They weren’t sure if Dewshine was just Mountain Dew in fancy bottles or if it now contained alcohol.
To combat this confusion, Dewshine labeled their boxes of glass bottles as having 0% alcohol.
Still, the marketing didn’t perform well and, as a result, Dewshine didn’t perform well either.
To make matters worse, Dewshine is also a reference to a type of Mountain Dew that’s laced with racing fuel.
The mixture proved deadly to those foolish enough to drink it.
That’s because racing fuel contains solely methanol.
Even consuming one tablespoon of methanol is deadly.
With its label reading “Dewshine,” it basically made the company seem as though it was encouraging its customer to drink this dangerous concoction.
Dewshine, although a valiant effort to harken back to Mountain Dew’s roots, was eventually discontinued by Pepsi.
Are There Mountain Dew Food Items?
Although Mountain Dew is a beverage, limited edition food items have existed in the past.
One of the most famous cases was with the release of wings flavored with Mountain Dew on the menu at Buffalo Wild Wings.
It wasn’t that popular, but it did get some people in the door to try them out for themselves.
Not only did the wing burn, but it also gave a limey flavor on top of it all.
Besides hot wings, Japan also released a Mountain Dew-flavored version of Cheetos.
Although this food wasn’t popular either, it did gain a sort of cult following in Japan.
They were only released for a short amount of time, but the Japanese were eager to get their hands on them, regardless of the flavor.
A final food variant of Mountain Dew comes from Doritos.
In 2008, Doritos released a mystery flavor which they called Doritos Quest.
They eventually revealed that the mysterious flavor added to their chips was Mountain Dew.
While those who ate them didn’t find the chips disgusting, they were a bit put off by the flavor.
Although Mountain Dew started as its own company, it struggled to expand outside of Tennessee.
Part of the reason was that its flavor didn’t resonate with larger audiences.
Once Pepsi took control of the company, it corrected the formula and created a marketing campaign that made Mountain Dew the beloved soda that it is today.