Some of the soft drinks in Japan the last couple of months.
It was summer, time for Pepsi's new "weird flavor". This one was Salty Watermelon. I'm assuming that they just put some watermelon flavoring on top of the regular cola flavor, but I can't really taste the cola at all, and the watermelon is actually kind of subtle. Worth trying once, but nothing really spectacular.
Fortunately, Pepsi decided to keep their regular flavor, while putting promotional art for the Gundam franchise on the cans. Unfortunately, they decided to license this one only through the Lawson's konbini chain, and there aren't that many Lawson's in Kagoshima. I didn't know where it was being carried, having just noticed it once in one shop, and not wanting to buy it at the time. I hit roughly 10 konbini on my way to Kagoshima-chuo station, and it wasn't until I got to the Lawson's right in front of the station that I found it again. It's nice artwork, but since it's wrapped around the can, you can't see all of it in just one photo. 120 yen. If you go to the Pepsi Japan page and scroll to the bottom, you'll see the 8 designs out in July, and the next 8 that came out in Sept. If you download the postcard, you can put stickers from various Pepsi products on the card and mail it in for a chance to win prizes.
I know how the conversation went in the board room for this one. The Director of Product Research at Kirin Beverage starts talking about how his group is working on the next new flavor, and the Director of Marketing interrupts him, saying that they've already got the next promotional campaign cued up and it's perfect. Meaning that it really doesn't matter what Research gives them, they'll sell it. An argument ensues. Meanwhile, an intern has taken a jar of cheap instant coffee and dumped it into a carafe of cold water and placed it on the heating plate of the coffee machine. 5 hours later, when the Board still hasn't stopped bickering, the intern removes the carafe, scoops the scorched sludge from the bottom into a glass, pours in a bottle of club soda and stirs it. Placing the glass in front of the marketing guy, the intern says "here's your next new product". The Director takes a sip, winces, looks at the intern and replies, "I thought you were going to make this some kind of a challenge."