Review: Little Caesars' Pineapple Pepsi Is Your Gateway To Hawaiian Pizza

Pineapple Pepsi at Little Caesars
Pineapple Pepsi at Little Caesars - Carlie Hoke / Mashed

We already know that quite a lot of pizza eaters enjoy pineapple on pizza, but where else does the tropical fruit dare to go? Little Caesars is putting our taste buds to the test and partnering with Pepsi for a limited time offering of pineapple Pepsi. This fruity flavored soda may just be the thing to quench the heat of the summer.

Pepsi debuted a limited quantity of its pineapple flavor back in 2020, and Little Caesars brought the vibrant cans back exclusively for the summer of 2023. While some Pepsi products have been massive fails, the previous iteration of pineapple Pepsi was a hit and quite a few pizza lovers raved about the pairing. Now the pizza company has wooed Pepsi into partnering once again to make the summer an explosion of sweet and savory flavors, this time in 20-ounce bottles.

Is this partnership's second coming as delectable as the first? I taste tested the exclusive, limited-time offering and found it to be quite the refreshing take on the classic soda and a great pair for pizza. Follow along for our full review and more information about this sweet drop.

Read more: Major Pizza Chains, Ranked Worst To Best

When And Where You Can Find Pineapple Pepsi

Little Caesars storefront
Little Caesars storefront - M. Suhail/Getty Images

Currently, the only place you'll be able to locate Pepsi's newest pineapple flavor is at your local Little Caesars restaurant. However, that's not so bad, as every state in the U.S. has at least one location of this pizza joint. Pizza lovers in states with only a single location, like Alaska, may have a bit of a drive to get their hands on the tropical drink. The good news? You can load up on pizza and Crazy Puffs to keep you sustained on the drive home.

With a release date of July 1, Pineapple Pepsi has already started hitting Little Caesars locations nationwide. The fruity, carbonated nectar will continue to arrive at franchises and will likely remain throughout the summer as long as supplies last. The limited time offering was popular the first time around, however, so be sure to grab up a bottle or two when you can. That's certainly a bit of an incentive to head to your closest Little Caesars within the first few weeks of the product's drop, along with a limited-time deal that could make this combo more affordable.

How Much Does Pineapple Pepsi Cost?

Pineapple Pepsi with Crazy Puffs
Pineapple Pepsi with Crazy Puffs - Carlie Hoke / Mashed

Those who seek out the Little Caesars exclusive in the first two weeks of its limited release will be rewarded with a bundled discount. By using the code "PINEAPPLE" at checkout, you will get a 20-ounce bottle of the sweet beverage and an order of the chain's Crazy Puffs for $4.99. That saves you an average of a little under $2. It's really the ultimate Little Caesars bundle, as both menu items are specials you can only find at the "Pizza! Pizza!" place. The easiest way to get the deal is by selecting it on the chain's app, as doing so will automatically apply the code to your order.

If you're seeking only the soda, the pineapple Pepsi is available without the purchase of this deal, at which point it'll cost you $2.69. This is currently the same price as any of the other 20-ounce bottled sodas available at Little Caesars. The bundle deal is set to end after July 14th, at which point the price of the pineapple Pepsi plus Crazy Puffs will come to $5.68 plus tax (though, as always, prices and availability may vary by location).

What Should You Pair Pineapple Pepsi With?

holding Crazy Puff with Pineapple Pepsi
holding Crazy Puff with Pineapple Pepsi - Carlie Hoke / Mashed

What's extra sweet about the limited time bundle deal at Little Caesars is there's already a built-in pairing for the pineapple Pepsi. I found that the Crazy Puffs are a great item to pair with the flavored Pepsi. The cheese and sauce work together to achieve an umami flavor, and they go especially well with the sweetness of the soda.

The pepperoni Crazy Puffs specifically are a great choice to eat with the pineapple Pepsi. The pepperoni and pineapple do well to imitate the flavors of a Hawaiian pizza. Both combos have pork and pineapple front and center. Of course, with this logic, a pepperoni, bacon, or ham pizza would accomplish this same thing. You could also go all-in with the pineapple flavor and order a Hawaiian or a one-topping pineapple pizza to eat alongside your flavored Pepsi. Just as pineapple can be used as a topping in countless pizza combinations, the pairing possibilities for pineapple Pepsi are many -- so long as you're not a pineapple pizza hater like Gordon Ramsay.

What's In Pineapple Pepsi?

Nutrition information for pineapple Pepsi
Nutrition information for pineapple Pepsi - Carlie Hoke / Mashed

Now, just because it partially shares a name with a fruit, that doesn't mean that pineapple Pepsi is good for you. The fruity beverage is still very much a sugar-filled soda that is best consumed in moderation. In fact, the addition of pineapple seems to up the sugar factor, at least in taste.

Going by the nutritional label, there are 69 grams of sugar in a bottle of pineapple Pepsi, which is the same as a regular 20-ounce bottle of Pepsi. These sugars come from high fructose corn syrup, plain sugar, and the clarified pineapple juice concentrate that gives the soda its special flavor. Since there is plenty of sugar in pineapple juice, it's possible (though not confirmed) that the flavored Pepsi has less corn syrup or sugar.

As per the label, pineapple Pepsi is only made up of 1% juice. This 1% is certainly working, though, as you can definitely taste the pineapple. This addition doesn't seem to be the only variation, as a number of other ingredients are included "to protect flavor," like calcium disodium edta and sodium polyphosphate; their position further down on the list indicates that they're only there in relatively low quantities compared to ingredients listed higher up.

How Does It Compare To Regular Pepsi?

variations of Pepsi in store
variations of Pepsi in store - Lcva2/Getty Images

At face value, a pineapple Pepsi looks a little different than regular Pepsi. The Pepsi logo is still prevalent, but you'll find a chunk of pineapple creeping in to overlap it. Other chunks of pineapple float around the label, with the classic Little Caesars man present as well, happily chomping on a slice of pizza. Other than this sweet makeover, the only major difference I detected between the two drinks is the addition of pineapple within the actual drink. The two, surprisingly, even have the same amount of calories and sugar.

When comparing a flavored Pepsi with the OG, you've got to consider the ingredients that make up the original recipe. Part of the untold truth of Pepsi is that there are quite a lot of ingredients that contribute to its (sometimes overly) sweet taste, most notably, vanilla, caramel, and high fructose corn syrup. Pineapple Pepsi is also made up of large percentages of those ingredients, with the main difference obviously being the addition of clarified pineapple juice concentrate.

Unsurprisingly, this pineapple addition has changed the taste and flavor of Pepsi and may have even altered the color. While it was still a familiar dark amber hue, I spotted a subtle lightening in the opaque coloring. Where the color change is slight, the pineapple's effect on taste is anything but. I found that the Pepsi flavor is downright overpowered by the pineapple, making the two sodas completely distinguishable.

Does Pineapple Belong In Pepsi?

girl drinking with straw
girl drinking with straw - Bymuratdeniz/Getty Images

Before I get into the taste of pineapple Pepsi, I must talk about the smell. Upon cracking the seal, even before the lid was entirely twisted off, that undeniable odor of pineapple was palpable. There was nothing subtle about it, as it filled the nose quite fully, but not unpleasantly. A pineapple Pepsi smells like the first slice into a whole pineapple and, to me, like summer.

Having had this precursor of pineapple, the strong taste of the sweet fruit didn't really come as a shock. Actually, the drink tastes more like pineapple than it does Pepsi, so much so that I kind of forgot I was drinking a Pepsi. It's like if pineapple juice were carbonated, and then boosted with a dash of vanilla and caramel. The texture is still very much Pepsi, though, with a stickiness that lingered in the back of my throat after each sip.

Both the taste and texture of the pineapple Pepsi sticks with you for quite some time, thinly coating your mouth, while the soda seems to get better each time you take a sip. This may be due to the renewal of its scent, in which case the idea of switching to resealable bottles instead of open cups was a great one. All in all, I can confidently say that pineapple definitely belongs in your next bottle of Pepsi.


Pineapple Pepsi and Crazy Puffs
Pineapple Pepsi and Crazy Puffs - Pepsi Co. / Little Caesars

This was a pretty straight forward taste test. I picked up one of the $4.99 deals from a relatively busy Little Caesars location near me and set out to see what all the fuss was about. Since its limited pineapple Pepsi had such rave reviews last year, hopes were high that the drink would be a stand-out Pepsi flavor.

To fairly taste test the product, I first drank a glass of water to cleanse my palate and quench any summertime thirst I was experiencing. Then, I opened the pineapple Pepsi and gave it a sniff, followed by a small sip. I tried to detect any distinct flavors (other than the very obvious taste of pineapple) and sipped a few more times before taking some notes on what I was tasting.

The next steps were to try the tropical soda alongside the Crazy Puffs, as well as with a plain Pepsi for comparison. The differences were quite stark, making it relatively easy to pick apart the value brought by the pineapple Pepsi.

Read the original article on Mashed.