Chubby Kids Soda

Mom had Diet Coke and Dad had beer, and most nights, Mom had beer too. And we had our drinks as well–Mondos, Capri Suns, Shastas, Slices, and of course, King Kool Aid. There was nothing like a tall, refreshing glass of Kool Aid. It felt big to have our own drinks. And sometimes, we’d pretend they were our beers, while also pretending to smoke candy cigarettes.

I always loved my sugar water, and when a display of sugar waters I’d never heard of, Chubby Sodas, appeared in the grocery store, I was intrigued.

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They’re fruity. They’re toxic-bright. They’re sugary, with flavors sweet like candy. Slap on a mascot wearing a sideways hat, and it becomes something evil and genius.

While I don’t drink stuff like this anymore, after many weeks of passing the display in the grocery store, I finally caved and purchased these adorable little sodas. How could I resist? Look at them! They’re like little bottles who think they’re big bottles!

Chubby Sodas visit us from Trinidad and Tobago, and if I recall correctly, those are planets. According to the website, Chubby Sodas were a “world first” in 1993, marketing a “carbonated soft drink targeted specifically to children.” The bottle is genetically engineered to fit small hands; the price is cheap enough that any kid can scrounge up a couple dimes to afford one; and the secret ingredient is pink. Add pink. It makes everything delicious.

So I had to try to a few of these. I started with Reggae Red.

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I measured a pour of Reggae Red into a fine, crystal glass, giving it a swirl, noting the opacity of the soda. Then I took a small sip, letting the flavors roll around on my palate—Nah. I just slugged it straight outta the bottle, just like I drink wine. I detected top notes of red lollypops. And then just the strong, medicinal flavor of red. The more I sipped, the less taste it had, as though my tongue were going numb.

Next, I sampled something called Sorrell.

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What the hell is Sorrell? It’s some kind of berry in Jamaica, which if I recall, is a continent, like Alaska. It almost smelled like a sweet barbeque sauce. I tasted it. It was the flavor of carbonated cough syrup, with licorice aftertaste. Glad we don’t have this berry in America. Don’t these Chubby sodas come in regular fruit flavors?

Ah yes, they do–that perennial fruit, Bubble Gum:

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Bubble Gum was pretty bubble gummy. I’ve never liked this flavoring; it leaves a pitted feeling in stomach, like you just swallowed actual gum or some other forbidden fruit, like toothpaste or mouthwash. It reminded me of this toothpaste we had at my grandmother’s house, Miss Piggy’s Bubble Gum Toothpaste. We used it to brush our teeth whenever we spent the night, and the tube somehow lasted for about 15 years.

Next I tried a real fruit, Pineapple Sunshine:

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This one was pina colada. Coconutty. Extremely sweet. And when I say sweet, I’m saying that each these of babies packs 35g of sugar into just 8 ounces. I could feel the sugar burrowing into my back teeth, scoffing at my fillings. And with 130 calories in every tiny bottle, no wonder these things are called Chubby. Even the website makes note of this in the FAQ, with one question that asks, “Would continuous consumption of Chubby drinks lead to obesity?”

“Continuous consumption of any product rich in carbohydrates or the regular participation in sedentary activities, may lead to the onset of obesity.”

The answer is yes.

Lastly I tried the charmingly-named Rock N Rolla Cola.

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With the flavor of flat, generic soda, this one was the least sweet.

I had to ask myself while trying these if I could ever, in proper conscience, allow my children to drink stuff like this. It’s the question every parents dreads hearing–“can I have a Chubby soda?”

Could I do it? Could I say yes? What about the marketing of these little bottles, which just feels evil? Or the fact that they all taste completely disgusting?

But I’m torn. Kids love this shit. I loved this shit. It still appeals even to my inner-child, though my outer-adult is about to puke. And I wouldn’t want to be the parent who lets their kid eat only organic granola and free range milk. The way I figure it, the kids can eat all the growth hormones and hot dogs they want. I turned out just fine. Kinda. But 8 ounces of blue syrup from planet Trinidad? That could turn you into an alien.

And maybe that will just have to be my answer to the little pizza. “Nope, that’ll turn you into an alien.”

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18 responses to “Chubby Kids Soda

  1. I’m totally gonna use that alien line when my kid starts asking for stuff.

    I should start saving for the shrink bills, now, eh?

  2. Chubby sodas! I used to drink theses until they removed 25% of the sugar. Then, it tasted 25% less good. Now I’m drinking Jones soda.

  3. shewalkssoftly

    Wow…I usually give a certain amount of credit to supremely artificial foods…but even my inner child is mildly nauseated.

  4. Yeah, where’d you pick these up? We got a shit-ton of these in at work… and given what they sell for, they have to cost like 2c each to produse.

  5. or produce. I can has spell.

  6. Yeah, we have them 3/ $1.00. Better pick them up sometime soon, cuz I suspect it’s just a summer item. I picked one up and looked it over today for the first time. There’s definitely a few flavors you haven’t covered, but we didn’t have the generic cola flavor one.

  7. Well, it sounds better than the cheap Pineapple flavor soda at Walmart, which is literally like drinking a liquified Lifesaver.

    Do I get extra points for alliteration?

  8. Muppet Toothpaste…holy crap.

    It came in a pump-top tube and there was a Kermit version too…which was the same sickly bubble gum flavor.
    We dared a sleepover attendee to take three shots one night straight from the pump…she staggered off down the hall and no one ever saw her again.
    Artificial bubble-gum flavor’s nothing to toy with.
    (as opposed to NATURAL bubble-gum flavor,right…)

  9. Came across your charming little site searching for ‘Where do I buy Chubby soda’.I have lots of bottles to return.Got them for $2.00 a case of 24 with no deposit, but I can get a deposit back from any regular Michigan retailer.Problem is that I bought these at one of my favorite discount stores-no,my favorite discount store-but they neither charge for nor reimburse for bottle deposits.When this temporary supply dries up, I’m sure the kids will want more, but I don’t know where else these are sold. Any leads out there?Thanks.

  10. This is hilarious…
    Was at the grocery store (where I try not to judge people by the contents of their carts) this weekend and heard the exact line from a plump 8(ish) year old: “Mom, can I have one of my chubby sodas?”. Sad, and funny, but mostly sad.

  11. Sorrel is not a berry. It is a dried flower that you soak and sweeten with sugar. Huge Christmas drink. This post was tacky and foolish.

  12. Sorrel is not only found in Jamaica #1. Sorrel tastes good and sorry you are too narrow minded to experience anything outstide your neighbourhood grocery store ;-)

  13. Where can I buy chubbies soda!!? I’ve looked everywhere, it was my childhood drink and I haven’t had it since 2006. I want to buy it but I have no idea where to get it! Someone please help me out, I want to buy a pack of them but I can’t find them anywhere, online or in stores.

  14. My family I love the sorrel and pina and orange and we need to know where we can buy them at or can we order them from

  15. I love your drinks all love all of the kinds but I just wish that I could get the pineapple one but I just can’t find it 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭

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