Citrusy soft drink is making another attempt to catch on in Japan.

Within the Japanese beverage world, Mello Yello is sort of a cryptid. It’s a drink not a lot of people haven’t heard of, and even among those who have, even fewer have seen it for themselves. It first came to Japan in the 1980s, and while it’s been offered on and off since, it’s never stuck around for very long and has been completely absent from the Japanese market since 2021.

But right now Japan has an opportunity to get acquainted with the citrusy soda, as convenience store chain Lawson has brought Mello Yello back to Japan.

For its part, Lawson seems fully aware that Mello Yello doesn’t have the highest level of name-recognition within Japan, with its above announcement image reading “That Mello Yello drink has returned!? Not really sure what it is, but try it!” The accompanying press release recalls that when Mello Yello was first brought to Japan, its official slogan was “A taste that’s very difficult to describe in words,” and admits that many of the chain’s present-day customers may react to its return with something along the lines of “It first came out here in the 1980s? I wasn’t even born then, so I don’t know what this stuff is.”

It is a bit of an uphill marketing battle, seeing as how even in its home country of the United States, Mello Yello is seen by many as an imitation of Mountain Dew, a drink itself which hasn’t really caught on in Japan (the Sanrio Mountain Dew public bath notwithstanding). Still, Mello Yello isn’t without its fans in Japan, finishing in first place in 2006 in a poll by Internet portal Goo Ranking for “discontinued soft drinks we want to drink again.” All the same, the brand managers apparently realize that Mello Yello piggybacking on some more famous brands will probably help its sales potential, and so it’s officially being called Coca-Cola Fanta Citrus Mello Yello.

Coca-Cola Fanta Citrus Mello Yello, priced at 162 yen (US$1.05) is on sale now exclusively at Lawson stores. While the chain hasn’t explicitly said anything about it being a limited-time release, given the highly competitive nature of the soft drink scene in Japan, it’s probably best to go grab a few bottles sooner rather than later.

Source: Lawson, Goo Ranking
Images: Lawson
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