7-Up, Japan hardly knew ye.

Although still very popular in its home of the USA and other countries, the clear carbonated soft drink 7-Up has been a little hard to come by recently in Japan. Your best chance at finding a can was in the odd vending machine run by its Japanese distributor Suntory.

However, for those who do enjoy it, the window to get some is quickly closing. It was never really formally announced, but since 18 June the Suntory’s website entry for 7-Up has been labelled “discontinued.”

J-Cast Trend inquired with Suntory and learned that production had stopped back in January and the remaining stock is currently being sold off. Considering canned carbonated drinks generally stay in good condition for six to nine months, 7-Up will begin quickly disappearing from now on if it hasn’t already.

7-Up has been in Japan since 1957. Back then it was its own corporate entity in partnership with the sake producer Takara Shuzo. Interestingly, the Japanese soft drink brand Cheerio, known for their unusual flavors like chocolate mint and strange packaging that looks like mayo and soy sauce, was originally the Kansai division of 7-Up when it was established in 1961.

▼ Thanks, 7-Up!

Since then the brand changed hands several times in corporate buy-outs and restructuring. In the 90s 7-Up made a large push in Japan with a redesigned taste and stronger marketing, including the import of popular mascot Fido Dido.

It seemed to have made an impact, and 7-Up continued to expand in the early 2000s, with plastic bottle versions as well as their zero-calorie Strong Dry and caffeinated Clear Dry variations.

▼ Commercial for 7-Up Clear Dry

However, by the late 2010s production of 7-Up shrunk to only 350-milliliter (12-ounce) cans, which too ended in January of 2021. The drink isn’t completely gone from Japan though. Suntory said that it will still be sold at restaurants that carry the brand in their soda fountains.

It’s still hardly a convenient way to get it compared to cans, and many fans took to Twitter to lament the end pre-packaged 7-Up.

“You’re kidding. I wanted 7-Up to level up.”
“That’s why 7-Up disappeared from my local vending machine!”
“I haven’t drunk it in years, but I miss it now that it’s gone.”
“I thought I haven’t seen it in stores lately. Oh well….”
“When I used to play shogi, 7-Up was really popular in the community.”
“I want to drink it now!”

This show of support for 7-Up might suggest Suntory made the wrong call in discontinuing it, but it should be noted that no one was talking about it at all until a day ago, when J-Cast News reported that production had ended six months earlier. While these people may have liked 7-Up, it doesn’t seem like they enjoyed it enough to notice it was disappearing or to keep it in business.

I too like 7-Up but admit I haven’t drunk it in possibly a decade. In fact, this news made me head down to a vending machine up the street that I knew sold it. I could remember because it was such a rare sight I took special note of it.

However, when I went…

▼ Nothing

Maybe I was mistaken, but I could have sworn that this machine sold 7-Up. Luckily, I took a picture of this very machine back in May of 2020 when I made a fun little Japanese vending machine quiz. Let’s just take a look…


It was right there all this time, and I never made an effort to drink some and keep it alive. I mean, I actually didn’t especially like 7-Up any more than say, Sprite or Mitsuya Cider, but I’m still bummed it’s gone.

Let this be a lesson to everyone to support those brands you have only a mild interest in more often, because those are the ones most in danger. Especially those who enjoy Mountain Dew in Japan from time to time, because I have a feeling it’s next on the chopping block.

Source: Suntory, J-Cast Trend
Photos: SoraNews24
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