What is Baja Blast? What is its history? And what is its appeal? (2024)

In 2004, Taco Bell and Mountain Dew—two revered brands, to be sure—joined forces to create a soda flavor that was initially available only at select Taco Bell franchises. But since coming into the world, Baja Blast has not only become an oddly beloved refreshment, but also in central to a piece of enduring internet lore.

How did Baja Blast come to be?

According to an Aug. 6, 2004 article in QSR, Baja Blast was born of a collaboration between Mountain Dew’s parent company, Pepsi, and Taco Bell. Its creation, according to the article, “marks the first time an international beverage company and quick-service restaurant have collaborated to create a proprietary beverage specifically designed to complement the chain’s menu items.”

The article pointed out that Taco Bell fans and Mountain Dew drinkers shared similar worldviews and are often even the same people.

“Over the years, Taco Bell has helped grow the Mountain Dew brand to the point where Taco Bell customers and Mountain Dew drinkers have become kindred spirits,” said Dave Burwick, SVP and chief marketing officer for Pepsi-Cola North America in QSR’s coverage. “They are active, energetic, and constantly looking for something they can call their own.”

That article also noted Taco Bell customers were one and a half times more likely to do the Dew than the average American. Given that data, synergy between the two companies made sense, and justified the “multi-million dollar marketing campaign” to get it on Americans’ collective radar.

What does Baja Blast taste like?

The QSR article describes it as “a turquoise-green color and a flavor that has been described as Mountain Dew mixed with tropical lime.”

Taco Bell’s own site, dealing in metaphor, claims it’s “like drinking a real hurricane,” before admitting, “We’re obviously speculating here, since even trying to drink an intense tropical storm would basically be impossible.”

An article on the America’s Restaurant website declares that it has a “powerful lime essence” and a “refreshing citrus zing,” while also noting, “the flavor was chemically developed, so if you prefer ‘all-natural,’ you better look the other way.”

The creator behind the Big Rob Energy YouTube channel had a more indelicate review in a video released in 2021, though a commenter there contended, “That’s the face of a man that enjoys the drink, but doesn’t want you to know that he does.”

Why is Baja Blast internet famous?

In July 2023, the Daily Dot covered a TikTok video that eventually passed the 5 million view mark, from creator @jweav772, showing an ambitious Baja Blast heist in progress. The Taco Bell customer was siphoning Baja Blast from the soda dispenser into a duffel bag—which turned out to have a 5-liter bottle inside.

@jweav772 Bro thought he was slick#fyp #tacobell #bajablast #autismawareness ♬ Kickstart My Heart – Mötley Crüe

The video appeared to be a modern-day tribute to “Operation Soda Steal,” which shook the firmaments of early internet culture. As Kotaku described, “In 2008, GameFAQs user EpitaphILIP had an idea: what if, instead of buying a cup of soda at Taco Bell and merely drinking it, he bought a refillable cup, built a contraption leading from the cup to a container hidden in a messenger bag and proceeded to pour a whole ton of Mountain Dew.”

And, as the article went on to add, “And not just any Mountain Dew, either. The limited edition Baja Blast flavour, which at the time was only available at Taco Bell, meaning you couldn’t take it home and enjoy it whenever you wanted. Unless, you know, you somehow managed to take a whole bag’s worth home with you.”

The dream became a collaborative effort made possible through internet communication, with fellow dreamers putting their engineering acumen to work. The Cybershell YouTube channel put together a 13-minute documentary video featuring that collective effort.

Where can you buy Baja Blast?

Aside from Taco Bell, of course, a number of retailers (including Sam’s Club and major grocery chains across the U.S.) offer Baja Blast in bottles and cans. Just type “Baja Blast” into Google, hit the “shopping” tab, and you should be rewarded with a dizzying array of choices—provided it’s in season.

And, apparently, that won’t be a issue for a new generation of Baja Blast lovers. According to Sporked, the soda born of the 2004 union “is slated to become a permanent retail release in the U.S. in January 2024.”

And in addition to the original flavor, Pepsi’s also test-driving two new varieties of Baja Blast, with their quote revealing the new stylization of Mountain Dew’s name to Mtn Dew.

“Mtn Dew Baja Passionfruit Punch and Mtn Dew Baja Caribbean Splash.” The publication also floated rumors of Baja Blast ice cream; that actually materialized in August 2023, with Taco Bell’s announcement of a Baja Blast-flavored gelato getting a test drive in Southern California stores.

Phil West

Phil West is a veteran professional writer and editor, and the author of two books on soccer, ‘The United States of Soccer,’ and ‘I Believe That We Will Win,’ both from The Overlook Press. His work has appeared most recently in The Striker (where he served as managing editor), MLSSoccer.com, Next City, and Texas Highways. Based in Austin, he is also a lecturer in the Writing Program at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

What is Baja Blast? What is its history? And what is its appeal? (2024)
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