The pinnacle of Taco Bell is now right outside of your lecture hall.
Mountain Dew Baja Blast arrived in campus vending machines and at The Elli convenience store in early March according to Raymond Kohl, Campus Dining & Shops marketing manager. Kohl wrote in an email that the popular soft drink, which Taco Bell introduced as an exclusive to the fast food chain in 2004, is already “flying off” The Elli’s shelves and requiring Vending Manager Dave Marotta to “constantly” fill vending machine slots.
But the beverage can’t blast off of shelves forever.
“It is a limited-time-only item so we expect that we will have it through the end of the semester and then another flavor will most likely be introduced for the fall,” Kohl wrote.
The aquamarine-colored soft drink, which is “chemically formulated to taste best,” first became available for purchase outside of Taco Bell in 2014 when the restaurant's exclusive rights to the beverage ended. Mountain Dew has since reintroduced Baja Blast four additional times for spans of a few months, and now UB’s vending machines are home to the beverage.
Kohl wrote that although CDS’ product selection is often based on availability, he looks at trends and selects items that “resonate” with guests.
Students say Baja Blast is doing exactly that.
Cuong Vu, a freshman intended pharmacy major, said Baja Blast is his favorite flavor of Dew.
Vu said he noticed Baja Blast was sitting in the vending machines when he was with a friend. He then “pointed it out” and “of course” grabbed a bottle.
“As a freshman with no car, and since Taco Bell isn’t really the healthiest of food options, it’s kind of nice that Baja Blast is an option,” Vu said. “I’m not huge on soda but for Baja ... that’s another story.”
Vu said the beverage is probably “flying off” the shelves due to the fact that it was taken off shelves a few months ago.
“With the availability and ease of access to Baja Blast, it isn’t too surprising that they are selling so quick.”
Blogger Mtn Dew Kid, who created the blog MtnDewKid.com seven years ago, has been drinking Mountain Dew for 35 years and collecting memorabilia for the last 15.
He said Baja Blast is in his “top five,” with his favorite flavor of the “70-plus” total flavors still being the original.
The blogger wrote that the taste is the reason for its popularity, and described it as “a light smooth taste of tropical flavors.”
“It’s a light, non-overpowering taste,” Mtn Dew Kid wrote. “[It is] smooth to drink with no aftertaste. The flavor is a great blend of tropical, almost Ocean Spray flavors.”
Mtn Dew Kid wrote that Mountain Dew will be introducing four new flavors this year: Cyclone, Liberty Brew, Street Lightning and VooDew, all of which Campus Dining can choose as a possible replacement Dew.
Brenton Blanchet is the editor-in-chief and can be reached at Brenton.Blanchet@ubspectrum.comand on Twitter @BrentonBlanchet
Brenton J. Blanchet is the 2019-20 editor-in-chief of The Spectrum. His work has appeared in Billboard, Clash Magazine, DJBooth, PopCrush, The Face and more. Ask him about Mariah Carey.