No one has actually cared about the flavor of Peeps. It’s just marshmallow and granulated sugar. The actual calling card for Peeps is the candy’s ridiculousness and aesthetic.
Peeps, as candy, make no sense. The most exciting thing Peeps have going for them right now are A) they explode in the microwave, and B) they’re copying Oreo’s playbook of coming out with goofy flavors.
But the big difference here is that people love original Oreos. No one ever goes to the store and thinks, “Man, I’ve had a tough day, I could really crush a sleeve of Peeps right now.” No, they buy normal peeps to use as Easter decorations and then begrudgingly eat one or two because otherwise, they’ll just end up in the trash.
You know how bad Peeps are? There’s no one else trying to cash in on the market of marshmallows covered in granulated sugar. They’re like Necco Wafers. They have no competition. They’ve been around for decades, are mostly used for decoration and achieve the unfathomable goal of making sugar unpleasant to eat.
Eating a Peep is like taking a bite out of insulation foam that’s been rolled in sand from a beach in mid-March. However, it still sort of tastes like marshmallows, so there’s something salvageable for the soda spin-off.
The good news is that Peeps Pepsi takes only the positive aspects of the original candy: the marshmallow flavor and the cartoonish pastel aesthetic.
It’s not just a re-flavored soda that’s officially labeled “artifical marshmallow flavored Pepsi.” It’s a soda that comes with new rubber ducky-yellow branding and the trademark sort of silly Candy Land whimsy.
Peeps have the aesthetic of throwing a Lisa Frank-themed rave in the middle of an otherwise quiet brunch. Every other kind of Easter candy has a nice chill, pastel vibe. Then Peeps come in. Granulated sugar gets everywhere while people start tearing the heads off marshmallow birds and watching them explode in the microwave.
What does it taste like?
Peeps Pepsi retains the vibes of the original cola and marries it with tastes of vanilla from the marshmallow flavoring.
The similarities to Vanilla Pepsi are striking. There’s a cloudiness to the flavor. You get a fluffy white wipe of the marshmallow before your palate is flushed by that caramel drag of the cola.
I picked up almost a buttery element when drinking it, almost like a buttered popcorn-flavored jelly bean. But nothing major. It’s mostly a one-two punch of vanilla and cola.
Overall, the Peeps aspect gives the soda more of a rounded buzz and less of a purely sweet pop than normal Pepsi.
So is it any good?
Yeah, I’d drink this again.
Sure, my body no longer responds well to the prospect of drinking a yellow submarine of murky sugar brine, but my mouth likes it.
The final word
So far, the branding for this soda-candy crossover has been “Peeps Pepsi” or “Pepsi x Peeps.”
What doesn’t make sense is that at no point has it been marketed as Peep-si.
“I ate it so you don’t have to” is a regular food column looking at off-beat eats, both good and bad. It runs every other Thursday-ish at noon-ish.
You can send any praise/food suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please send all criticisms and fond memories of Lisa Frank trapper keepers to email@example.com. You can check out the rest of the series here.