Mountain Dew (currently stylized as MTN Dew) is a citrus-flavored carbonated soft drink brand produced and owned by PepsiCo. The original formula was invented in the 1940s by two Tennessee beverage bottlers, Barney and Ally Hartman, and was first marketed in Marion, VA, Knoxville and Johnson City, Tennessee. A revised formula was created by Bill Bridgforth in 1958. The Mountain Dew brand and production rights were acquired by the Pepsi-Cola company in 1964, at which point its distribution expanded more widely across the United States.
Between the 1940s and 1980s, Mountain Dew consisted of a single Citrus-flavored version. Diet Mountain Dew was introduced in 1988, followed by Mountain Dew Red which was introduced – and discontinued – in 1988. While Mountain Dew Red was short-lived, it represented the beginning of a long-term trend of Mountain Dew being produced in different flavor variations. This product line extension trend has continued in the 2000s, with expansion into specialty, limited time production, and retailer-specific (Taco Bell, 7-Eleven) variations of Mountain Dew.
Production was first extended to the U.K. in 1996, though this initial debut was short-lived as it was phased out in 1998. The product returned to the U.K. under the name “Mountain Dew Energy” in 2010 and returned to the Republic of Ireland in Spring 2011. As of 2009, Mountain Dew represented a 6.7 percent share of the overall carbonated soft drinks market in the U.S. Its competition includes Vault, Mello Yello, and Sun Drop; Mountain Dew accounts for 80 percent of citrus soft drinks sold within the U.S.
The name “Mountain Dew” was first trademarked by Ally and Barney Hartman in the 1940s, who coined the name from a colloquial term for moonshine whiskey. Early bottles and signage carried the reference forward by showing a cartoon-stylized mountaineer. The first sketches of the original Mountain Dew bottle labels were devised in 1948 by John Brichetto, and the representation on product packaging has changed at multiple points in the history of the beverage.
PepsiCo (known then as The Pepsi-Cola Company) acquired the Mountain Dew brand in 1964, and shortly thereafter in 1973 the logo was modified as the company sought to shift its focus to a “younger, outdoorsy” generation. This direction continued as the logo remained the same through the 1970s, 80s and into the late 1990s. Later updates to the logo were made in 1999 and again in 2005. On October 15, 2008, the Mountain Dew logo was redesigned to “Mtn Dew” within the U.S. market, as a result of a PepsiCo rebranding of its core carbonated soft-drink products. However, the variant flavors continued to use the previous design until May 2011, when it was revealed that the “Code Red”, “LiveWire”, “Voltage”, and “Baja Blast” flavor variants would be given redesigned packaging, including new logos to correspond with the “Mtn Dew” style. The returning flavors “Pitch Black” “Supernova” and “Typhoon” were given redesigned packaging and logos for their re-release.