Mountain Dew Code Red is a cherry-flavored carbonated soft drink that was introduced in 2001 as a flavor extension of the original Mountain Dew. This addition marked the first time that the brand had ventured beyond its flagship flavor on a large scale. In 1988 Mountain Dew Red was sold in some areas of Alabama, but later discontinued that same year. These two soft drinks did not share the same formula or taste. Despite the saturated market of soft drink flavors, Code Red saw great success and is considered a major player in the cherry-flavored beverage market.

Mountain Dew Code Red
TypeCherry soft drink
Country of origin United States
Introduced2001; 23 years ago (2001)
VariantsMountain Dew Code Red Zero
Related productsMountain Dew


Bottle of Mountain Dew Code Red

In March 2001, the Mountain Dew website hosted an online racing game. The top-scoring winners received a box containing a "you won" letter, six pack of bottles and a Code Red shirt, before this version was officially released.[1]

PepsiCo considered calling the variant Wild Cherry Mountain Dew, but branded it as Code Red as urban and ethnic focus groups preferred. In May 2001, Mountain Dew Code Red was released to stores in the United States.[2] In its first year of production, Code Red increased overall sales of Mountain Dew by 6%.[3]

Diet Mountain Dew Code Red was introduced in 2002.[4] It was replaced by Mountain Dew Code Red Zero in 2022.[5]

The Mountain Dew flavor DEW-S-A, released for a limited time in 2017 and 2021, was a combination of red, white and blue Mountain Dew flavors, with Code Red serving as the red flavor in the mix.[6]

An energy drink version of Code Red was released in 2022.[7]


During an overnight work session, researchers named the computer worm Code Red after the Mountain Dew variant they were drinking at the time.

Mountain Dew Code Red was promoted in December 2010 with a television advertisement featuring rapper Jay Electronica performing his song "The Announcement". The campaign proved to be a successful marketing strategy, contributing to the product's widespread popularity amongst consumers.[8]


  1. ^ "Code Red Pre-Release – A Look Back". Mtn Dew Kid. Archived from the original on March 30, 2001. Retrieved 5 October 2023.
  2. ^ Tkacik, Maureen; McKay, Betsy (August 17, 2001). "Virus Gave Pepsi's New Drink Free Global Brand Recognition". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 5 October 2023.
  3. ^ Howard, Theresa (8 May 2002). " -Marketers of colorful drinks dye for big sales". USA Today. Archived from the original on 24 May 2011. Retrieved 31 January 2011.
  4. ^ "Official Gazette of the United States Patent and Trademark Office". 1260 (4). U.S. Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office. 2002. Retrieved 6 October 2023. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ "Hey! Code Red Zero Sugar is now in stores although local availability can vary". Twitter. August 24, 2022. Retrieved 6 October 2023.
  6. ^ "Mountain Dew's Patriotic "DEW-S-A" Flavor Is Back". Hypebeast. 2021-04-19. Retrieved 2024-01-04.
  7. ^ Castrodale, Jelisa (September 15, 2022). "Mtn Dew's Code Red Is Now an Energy Drink". Food & Wine. Retrieved 6 October 2023.
  8. ^ "Jay Electronica's Mountain Dew Commerical: A 'RapFix' First Look". MTV. December 23, 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2023.[dead link]