Mountain Dew and KFC teamed up a few years ago to release a unique flavor called "Sweet Lightning," which has an orange hue that's reminiscent of Blue Moon's beer. The press release that accompanied the drink launch explained that the exclusive beverage packs a punch of peach and honey flavors, presumably in an attempt to mimic sweet tea. "With the addition of Sweet Lightning, we now have a drink that is as unique to KFC as the Colonel's secret blend of 11 herbs and spices," explained Andrea Zahumensky, chief marketing officer of KFC. "And like our world-famous fried chicken, Sweet Lightning will keep fans coming back for more."
However, Sweet Lightning might fail to reward such hype. In rankings of Mountain Dew, the flavor falls towards the bottom. As Bustle reported when the flavor first appeared, many found the sweet tea too sweet, which admittedly pairs well with the heavily salted food KFC serves.
Mountain Dew flavors have interesting parameters
The reason why KFC partnered with Mountain Dew to produce this new drink is that the brand of Mountain Dew is so mutable that an exclusive drink with an appropriately abstract name, could convince anyone that it belongs within the general portfolio. This differs from Coca-Cola, which occasionally tries to introduce a twist to its central products, only to inevitably fail. Coke is Coke, but almost anything can be Mountain Dew.
This ease of change is highlighted by the three steadfast rules they have. Greg Lyons, vice president of marketing at Mountain Dew, explained to Buzzfeed in response to their questions about what a Mountain Dew actually is that to be a viable Mountain Dew flavor it must have caffeine, a bold color and flavor, and have a citrine taste. Within those parameters, anything goes. They are, then, the perfect soft drink company for a fast food chain to collaborate with.