Mountain Dew’s name is a previously-existing eupherism for moonshine, which likely traces back to Ireland (see the Irish folk song “The Rare Auld Mountain Dew”), and has generally been marketed to highlight its potency. It was originally marketed as “zero proof moonshine” and had pictures of hillbillies on the bottle until 1973. Bascom Lamar Lunsford’s original recording of “Old Mountain Dew”, an Appalachian old-time song, was used as the first advertising theme for the newly created Mountain Dew soda.

Today’s target demograpghic is radically different. The drink is mainly marketed to people in the 12-30 year old demographic group, creating a connection to outdoor activities like extreme sports and to the video game culture. The name Mountain Dew was first trademarked by two brothers, Barney and Ally Hartman, who ran a bottling plant in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Their promotional tactics for Diet Mountain Dew have recently brought forth their "Diet Dew Surprising Fact's" campaign, which focuses on crazy but true facts that are reenacted in videos or through other spectrums of advertisement. Their coordination with RepNation brought on brand representatives throughout 50 campuses across the US!

Health Effects

Mountain Dew (and its energy drink counterpart known as AMP) often incurs the disapproval of some health experts due to its relatively high caffeine content for a soft drink (or energy drink). However, Mountain Dew marketed in Australia and Canada – as well as several U.S. states – has no caffeine added at all (Health Canada states that caffeine cannot be in non-cola food products). Nevertheless, Mountain Dew contains tartrazine, which could lead to allergic reactions in some people. This has also led to a false urban legend that the Yellow No. 5 in Mountain Dew reduces the sperm count of male drinkers.Mountain Dew, like many citrus flavored sodas, contains citric acid and sodium benzoate.

A more significant problem with Mountain Dew is the presence of High Fructose Corn Syrup [HFCS], which has been linked to liver problems. HFCS contains a sugar that--unlike glucose, which can be metabolized in any body cell--can only be metabolized in the liver. The load this presents to the liver has also been linked to cirrosis. It should be noted that HFCS was only introduced in the 1970's. Prior to that, cane sugar was used. Cane sugar remains the sweetener used in Mountain Dew in all areas of the globe except the United States.

Diet Mountain Dew contains aspartame. Mountain Dew’s brominated vegetable oil (BVO) is another source of contention. More than 100 countries ban BVO for its adverse health effects. However, the exact quantity of bromine put into fat cells from BVO is questioned.

The Products

  • Coca-cola
  • Pepsi
  • Mountain Dew
  • Sprite
  • Canada Dry
  • Sunkist
  • Dr. Pepper