We Tried Pepsi's New S'more's Collection Sodas. Here's How It Went

Just hearing the word "s'mores" conjures images of sticky, sugary treats concocted over an open flame, whether on a cozy camping trip or in the backyard gathered around a fire pit. Pepsi is getting in on the sweet action with a trio of s'mores-themed flavors mini-cans to make crisp autumn nights even more magical. Why three separate flavors instead of a single s'mores-flavored can? To capitalize on the individual elements of a s'more, of course! Chocolate, Toasted Marshmallow, and Graham Cracker each get their own special soda profile to add to the special s'mores recipe. Mix them all together and you get a Pepsi cocktail that creates a sippable s'mores beverage, with bubbles to boot.

Pepsi put the word out about its clever mix-and-match s'mores selections and launched a social media campaign to kick off s'mores season in grand fashion. But why s'mores, of all flavors? According to Todd Kaplan, Pepsi's CEO, "This newest drop allows fans to construct their own s'mores to their liking – with the perfect amounts of graham, marshmallow, and chocolate – in a deliciously indulgent drink without any of the mess. We can't wait for fans to try it." So try them, we did. Here's how it went.

The flavors in the Pepsi S'mores Collection sodas

With each can being imbued with its own personality, you get a markedly different profile in each flavor. Per Pepsi's press info, "Toasty Marshmallow is an entirely new Pepsi concoction, taking a marshmallow base with layers of toasted notes to mimic a light fireside flavor. Graham Cracker is infused with notes of honey and cinnamon to achieve the perfect balanced graham cracker flavor profile. Chocolate contains dominant notes of cocoa throughout, with slight hints of vanilla to create extra creamy sweetness, mimicking a slightly melted chocolate flavor." None of this sounds too far afield. Marshmallow is largely vanilla, chocolate soda mashups are nothing new, and cinnamon and honey sound like willing partners for Pepsi's core cola concoction.

The marketing genius here is Pepsi allowing consumers to create their own customized s'mores-flavored soda. Are you a chocolate fiend? Go heavy on the Chocolate and hold back on others. Are you more of a graham fan? Get liberal with the Graham Cracker and stay conservative with the other two. Do toasted marshmallows melt your heart? By all means, load the glass with Toasty Marshmallow and a splash of the other two. The power of the perfect drinkable s'mores is yours!

How long will these sodas be available?

Normally, this is the part where we'd tell you how much we paid for the product we're reviewing and what you can expect to pay for it in stores. Except, in this case, you can't buy these new sodas in the store. Rather than stocking shelves with the Pepsi S'mores Collection for mass consumption, the clever marketing heads at PepsiCo have concocted the tasty trio as a limited edition set that can only be obtained by the most modern means: by sharing photos on social media. Per their press info, "Pepsi and s'mores fans alike must act quickly to be one of 2,000 lucky winners." Anyone interested in trying the trio of tastes for themselves must share pics or descriptions of "how they s'more" using the hashtags #PepsiSmores and #Sweepstakes for a chance to snag their sweetsome threesome.

The contest kicked off on September 22 and ran for less than a week, but perhaps with any luck, Pepsi will bring them back on a larger scale next summer.

How does the soda collection compare to other limited edition Pepsi flavors?

Pepsi's attempt to invent the perfect soda has taken many limited-edition forms. Per Pepsi's marketing info, "The Pepsi S'mores Collection comes on the heels of several of the Pepsi brand's unique and indulgent flavor innovations including Maple Syrup Cola, PEPSI X PEEPS, Pepsi Apple Pie, and Pepsi x Cracker Jack, to name a few." 

Judging by the flavor list, there's a concerted effort among the Pepsi people to capitalize on nostalgia. While PEEPS-flavored Pepsi sounds ill-advised and Maple Syrup Cola is just sweet-on-sweet, the creativity of capturing flavor profiles that have proven popular is smart business. In this instance, familiarity can breed consumption rather than contempt. While Pepsi's chief competitor is rolling out abstractions like Dreamworld- and galaxy Starlight-flavored Coke, Pepsi is interpreting tastes that already have a place in the hearts and minds of its most loyal drinkers. For Pepsi fans eager to jump into leaf piles and warm their hands at a bonfire, the Pepsi S'mores Collection seems like the perfect move. By not tweaking the flavor formula too much, Pepsi is giving people what they're likely to want, without asking them to take a huge leap of faith.

What's the nutritional information of the Pepsi S'mores Collection sodas?

As far as nutrition goes, each member of the Pepsi S'mores Collection comes in a petite 7.5-ounce can, a reduction from the usual 12-ounce can of a regular-sized Pepsi. Consider that the collection includes three cans, and you have a full 22.5 ounces of soda, well over the single-serving quantity held in a single regular can. That's a whole lot of soda, and unless you're intending on downing the entire collection in one go and taking in almost two full cans' worth of cola, these cocktail-sized mixer cans are made more for sharing than for indulging in all on your own.

While a run-of-the-mill 12-ounce Pepsi will net you 150 calories and 41 grams of sugar, each 7.5-ounce can in the s'mores suite contains 100 calories and 26 grams of sugar. Mathing this all out, the three mini-cans from the S'mores Collection contain a little less soda than two regular cans, while providing exactly twice the calories and slightly less than double the sugar. With so much sweetness, it may be best to have a friend help you pop the tabs. Not that you have to share your s'mores soda mixables around the campfire. But you could if you wanted to.

How do these s'mores sodas taste?

We tried each of the three cans in the Pepsi S'mores Collection separately before making our own mix to see what they had to offer. The cocoa notes in the Chocolate are definite and distinct, an enhancement that plays nicely against the cola in the can. The heady expectation of Toasty Marshmallow to be a creamy vanilla-flavored soda was quashed by the added toasted notes. Whatever that flavoring is, it lends an unwelcome tartness that undermines what could be a fun cream soda callback. Consider that opportunity missed. Graham Cracker, with its cinnamon and honey notes, comes across as a softer version of Pepsi, making it the most sensible and appealing of the three flavors.

And for the full-blown remix? Tinkering with the quantities gave varying degrees of s'mores-ness, but it took a while to find the ideal balance. Once the optimum quantities were in the glass, the verdict was in, and a definite s'mores flavor was achieved. Though the sweetness of the flavors is unmistakable, the ooey-gooey texture of s'mores is a huge part of the experience. So while having a glass of Pepsi S'mores is a fun novelty, it isn't likely to replace the real deal.