In 2021 PepsiCo launched their #BetterWithPepsi campaign. They commissioned a blind taste test to determine people’s soda pairing preferences with burgers from Wendy’s, Burger King, and McDonald’s. The third-party test’s results suggest that around 60% of those surveyed preferred Pepsi to Coke. The next year they extended the campaign to pizza, a move that wasn’t too surprising given that both Pepsi and pizza start with P. The campaign proved to be massively successful—winning some awards in 2022—and now Pepsi is taking aim at a summertime food staple in a way nobody anticipated. PepsiCo has created Colachup: a Pepsi-flavored ketchup meant to go on a hot dog.
In collaboration with Culinary Institute of America Consulting, PepsiCo has infused ketchup with the taste of their iconic soda to create a condiment that I don’t know how to feel about, emotionally. I’m a lifelong ketchup lover and a frequent hot dog enjoyer, but do I want Pepsi-Cola on my dog? I’m not sure. I’m conflicted in my soul.
What eases this hyperbolized moral dilemma is the presence of Joey Chestnut within the marketing materials. The Major League Eating organization called him “the greatest eater in history… That is empirical fact.”
The man ate 76 Nathan’s Hot Dogs in 10 minutes. Truly a hot dog eater amongst hot dog eaters; this man knows his dogs. If he endorses your dog sauce and says hot dogs are #BetterWithPepsi, that’s like Elvis endorsing your peanut butter, banana, and bacon sandwich.
Here’s how to try Pepsi’s Colachup
Colachup may not be available to buy this summer—no word has been given for when we may see a retail release—but people can taste the soda sauce soon. According to the press release, this July 4th, anyone who wants to try the new Pepsi-infused condiment can go to the following locations for samples:
Chase Field, Phoenix, AZ; Section 130/131
Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY; Pepsi Lounge (Pepsi Lounge Ticket Required)
Target Field, Minneapolis, MN; Section 113
Comerica Park, Detroit, MI; Section 139
Additionally, Pepsi will offer digital reimbursements the entire weekend that precedes July 4th. To claim your free Pepsi, text “FREEPEPSI” to 81234 and upload a receipt that includes both a hot dog and a 20 oz Pepsi purchase to get your Pepsi product reimbursed via PayPal, Venmo, or Digital Retailer Gift Card.
Will Pepsi’s Colachup be any good?
Cola is a versatile flavor. The smokiness and citrus notes of Pepsi in particular could pair well with the flavors in ketchup and complement the savoriness of a hot dog. My whimsical, fun-loving side wishes the condiment could be carbonated but, as far as I can tell, it is the usual texture of ketchup.
Will Pepsi-flavored ketchup be disgusting or delicious? The precedent potentially set by this pop-flavored condiment could be catastrophic. What’s next on the slippery slope? Sprite-flavored ranch? Fresca-flavored mustard? Dr. Pepper-flavored thousand island dressing? If we don’t draw a line in the condiment sand somewhere, will we be able to look back at what we lost along the way and say, “It was all worth it?” My bet’s on, “ehh… not really,” but I’m curious to try it all anyways.