What Happened to Vault Soda?

In the late ‘90s and early 2000s, there seemed to be a new soda coming out every single week. Surge, Fruitopia, Sprite Remix…and those are just the ones I can think up off the top of my head! And most of them eventually tanked. For every Coca-Cola Classic, there are dozens of soft drinks that fail to capture the undying attention of the seemingly fickle soda devotee community. One such hopeful was Vault, a combination soda and energy drink (the marketing slogan even claimed it “drinks like a soda, and kicks like an energy drink”) created by the Coca-Cola braintrust. 

Vault had a solid run of about six years before it ceased production. So, what happened? Today, we’ll get into a bit of soda history and hopefully find out why Vault never quite joined the legions of Dr Pepper or Mtn Dew. Let’s finally find out, what happened to Vault soda?

What is Vault soda and who made Vault soda?

Vault was a citrus-flavored beverage from Coca-Cola. It was, essentially, Coca-Cola’s attempt at creating a product line to rival Pepsi’s Mtn Dew—a citrus soda with a caffeinated kick. But Vault was also similar to Surge (a beloved Coca-Cola product, which was discontinued a couple of years prior to Vault’s launch). It even shared Surge’s green coloring, though it contained way more caffeine (70 mg as compared to Surge’s 50 mg). 

While the original Vault was lemon-lime flavored, there were other Vault flavors such as Red Blitz, Orange, Lime, Grape, and Peach. (The Grape and Peach flavors were only available in Coke Freestyle machines.) 

What happened to Vault soda?

Vault didn’t end up having the same cult following as Surge (or Mtn Dew, for that matter), and Coca-Cola discontinued it in 2011. 

Why was Vault soda discontinued?

The hybrid energy-drink-soda failed to take off as Coca-Cola had hoped, neither achieving the buzzworthy cult status of alternative sodas like Mtn Dew nor the blockbuster sales of Coke’s signature colas. So, the corporation pulled the plug. According to this highly legit Facebook post from 2012, Coca-Cola discontinued Vault because Mello Yello, another caffeinated citrus soda from the Coke company, was outselling it. So, they focused their efforts on Mello Yello, which is still sold today.  

Can you still buy Vault soda?

You can’t buy Vault from any leading retail vendors, unless you have access to a time machine (and, in that case, what are you doing using it to buy old soda? You’ve got wars to prevent!). But you can find cans and bottles on auction sites like eBay every now and then. (This 2L bottle is available for a cool $280!)

Though there are no concrete plans to bring Vault back, there remain online petitions from the dedicated few whose lives were touched by the product. In this age of reinvigorated intellectual property, the return of Vault could very well happen one day. We’ll just have to keep watching the store shelves.

About the Author

Joe Rumrill

Joe Rumrill is a fictional one-eyed spinach-loving sailor created in 1929 by E.C Se- Wait, no, that's not right... Joe Rumrill is a stand up comedian and writer currently based in Los Angeles. His favorite thing about food is a close tie between the taste and the nutrients one gets from it. His least favorite thing about it is the "gritty, dirt-like quality some food has", but he's most likely referring to the time in third grade he was dared to eat playground sand.