Mello Yello vs Mountain Dew

A big thank you to my cousins in Georgia who kindly played along and shipped up a bottle of Mello Yello for us to evaluate.
It’s been a long time since Mello Yello was available in the Northeast and while their logo has changed through the years, I think they had it perfect with the first one.  I’d say the same goes for Mountain Dew.  I don’t know about Mello Yello, but from my observations, Mt. Dew is mostly popular with males who are under 30 years old.   I’m not sure what it is: the intense sweetness, the elevated caffeine, the vibrant yellow #5?
I also thought it was kind of interesting that Mountain Dew’s angle for a while was “Do the Dew!” which included skateboarding, mountain climbing and riding sharks.  In comparison, Mello Yello does indeed seem more mellow as the commercials I found are uncomfortable situations between males and females asking “How would you stay smooth?”.
Ethan and I tasted this and then I brought the rest of the Mello Yello bottle into work to be tasted by our resident everyday Mt. Dew drinker, (who is a 24 year old male) Brendan.

Mello Yello:
We were out of our usual plastic tasting cups so we used wine glasses.  It’s kind of funny how this almost looks like chardonnay (or pee).
The color was a little brighter yellow than how the picture came out.  Ethan and I felt this was extremely sweet and syrupy.  Brendan’s notes on this were the same, he felt it was okay but also said it was more syrupy than Mountain Dew and that dominated the flavor.  I thought it tasted a lot like sprite and wondered if that is the base for this soda.

Mountain Dew:
This was very similar to Mello Yello, almost undetectably different but it does has a very lemony flavor that I felt tasted like those free lollipops you get at the bank.
Ethan said this was very citrusy but didn’t really see why he used to like it so much in college.  I guess its worth noting that both drinks have orange juice in them too which probably helps add to the strong similarities between them.

Wrap up:
We really didn’t notice much difference between the two and I can see why in some areas of the country only one of them is offered.  I will say that Brendan, being a hard core “Dewer” prefered Dew and felt Mello Yello was sweeter but he didn’t say he would never drink it again, if offered.  In fact, he finished the rest of the bottle.  I’d be interested to know which is more popular in areas where both of these are sold, which as the Coca-Cola distribution rep told me, is only in the south.

Mello Yello or Mt. Dew

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100 thoughts on “Mello Yello vs Mountain Dew

  1. as a child we always drank mellow yellow, however we were in Wisconsin, hardly considered ‘the south’

  2. DEW DEW DEW! Then again I live in VT and have never had Mello Yellow before…but the song is nice! “They call me mello yellow…”

  3. jdeuel: I occasionally drank Mello Yello as a kid too, in New England. As Michelle says though, it’s not available here anymore. I think if you looked now, you’d have a hard time finding Mello Yello in Wisconsin too. But who knows, maybe the Coke rep was wrong.

  4. I like Diet MD best. It really is quite remarkable how undiety it tastes! This blog is great, I can’t wait for the Jif vs. Skippy debate.

  5. Both sodas are available in Indiana so I don’t know what that Coke rep is talking about! I won’t drink either of them but my husband is addicted to Diet Dew. Bleh!

  6. I grew up in Minnesota and I remember drinking both a lot as a kid (I remember the old labels, too!) … but now that I mention it I hadn’t seen Mello Yello for a long time. I remember I liked both and thought they pretty much tasted the same.

  7. I’m a 34 year old woman. In my adolescence and early adulthood my favorite soda was Dr. Pepper. Later I became more and more fond of Mountain Dew. And with Kroger being the main grocery store here in my part of Ohio, I’ve learned something interesting.

    I like Kroger’s version of Dew better than Pepsi’s. Compared to the Kroger brand, Pepsi’s Dew looks like vitamin B piss and doesn’t taste so hot either.

    BUT. In the last year or so I’ve switched to diet soda; my system can’t take all that liquid sugar anymore, it makes me sick. As it turns out, Pepsi’s Diet Dew contains sucralose in addition to ace-K and aspartame sweeteners. This makes it taste about a hundred times better than Kroger’s diet version.

    I’m kind of annoyed, because the price difference is pretty drastic and I’d rather be buying the store brand. But man. I can’t choke the Kroger diet stuff down. Ew.

  8. one of my favorite sayings is
    “Like a spider monkey jacked up on Dew” Every heard of a spider monkey jacked up on Mello Yellow?

  9. We drank gallons of Mello Yello as children in south Georgia; it paired well with the classic chocolate MoonPie. We called it Meller Yeller though. No lie.

  10. i’m from GA and both are readily available, but i never drunk mellow yellow until i got to college and all they had were coke machines on campus, but i still prefer the dew over the mellow

  11. I grew up in Wisconsin as well, and while I never considered myself a conosseiur of the shocking-yellow-indeterminate-citrus-soda genre,* I always thought of Mello Yello as the low-rent version of Mountain Dew. Basically,

    Alec Baldwin : Billy Baldwin :: Mountain Dew : Mello Yello

    At least in my head.

    *I also enjoy the names of the store brands of this genre, my favorite being MOUNTAIN FURY.

  12. Mello Yello is the only soda for me – WI, MI & IA have it. When on vacation, I take along enough to last until I get home. We have at least 6 – 12 paks in the larder in case they stop production.
    Daughter & husband are also into it.
    Do not like Dew any more. Very discerning taste. In ny pre-new coke phase, I could distinguish between Coke, new Coke, Pepsi (blah), and all of the other brown drinks. Cherry Coke is made with the new Coke formula.

  13. I’m in NC, and remember when my GA cousins (who worked for Coke at the time) brought up a new drink to our house–Mello Yello. But, here in my neck of woods, a drink called Sun-Drop kicks the butt of both Mello Yello and Mt. Dew. It’s the same type of drink, but not quite as sweet. Try it if you find it.

  14. To me, If I had to choose, I would always pick Mountain Dew over Mellow Yellow. For some reason I felt that Mellow Yellow had more fizz and more syrup. Mountain Dew was a lot smoother and has less viscosity thus deeming it more “chugable.” Which is the reason why on hot, humid Indiana days I would always grab a mountain dew.

  15. If you go to a restaraunt, its always either coke products or pepsi products (at least it is here in MO), which meant if you liked green citrus soda, like me, it was either mellow yellow or mountain dew, and because of my experience with that everytime i go out to eat, theyre completely inter-changable for me, they are a bit different but oddly enough i like both, sometimes i want mellow yellow and other times i want the MD.

  16. Like ’em both, prefer Mello Yello. When I was in high school the corner store down the street from my job had a vending machine stocked full of Mello Yello cans for 25 cents each. That’s all any of us ever would drink. I got hooked. Now I wait for a sale before buying it…which is what I did last week, and why I’m on this site now because I’m enjoying a Mello Yello with my lunch. Great site!

  17. I am from Northern Minnesota, I am 27 years old and have ALWAYS had access to both sodas. In fact pretty much every town up here over pop. 10,000 seems to have both a Pepsi and Coke bottling plant. The restaurants have contracts with either or company so for example, if we decide to eat at Applebee’s, you have to order from Pepsi products but, if you eat at Perkins, it’s Coke products only. I will drink Mellow Yellow if it’s offered. It’s decent, but if I have a choice, I MUCH prefer Mt. Dew. It’s my favorite pop by far. I don’t get how people can’t tell a difference. It’s like Coke and Pepsi. They have COMPLETELY different tastes to me. I like Coke but if I get a swig of Pepsi, It’s actually hard for me to swallow. Blech. So yeah, Mt. dew, superior product. Mellow Yellow is the “fake version”.

  18. I live in southern Indiana, and both are sold here. I like mello yello better. I work in a store that only sells mt. dew. But other places sell mello yello. They even sell it at the coke machine across the parking lot (that I go to every day to buy one). So why can’t we sell mello yello? I asked a merchandiser from Coke when she was in our store, and you know what she said to me? Their distibutor, in Nashville, won’t let us sell it. Nashville only distributes vaults for small stores. She agrees with me that it would sell better than vault. We get vaults expired all the time. We always have. Yet they keep sending it to us. The ignorant Coke distributors in Nashville need to be more observant of the markets they distribute to. It’s not black and white; some places prefer vault, some prefer vault, and some would like both. I’m sure some would even do better with neither.

  19. I think your Mello Yello might’ve been flat…
    It is usually more carbonated and has alot of bubbles…
    For me, its tied between Mello Yello and Mtn Dew.
    I usually drink Mello Yello more though because I like coke products more…

  20. I’m from Nebraska and they sell Mello Yello here too. I do like Mello Yello but most people go for Mountain Dew around here. I have to admit they taste relatively the same.

  21. I live in Orlando and we have MD and while it is a little tricky to find we do sell Mello Yello here so it is in the south. MD vastly outsells Mello Yello but Mello Yello’s taste is SO much better.

  22. I agree with Mello Yello Man above. I also live in Orlando and find it tricky to find Mello Yello. I know a couple of restaurants sell it as a fountain drink, but only seem to find 20oz MY in Hess Gas stations. I used to live in Michigan where you couldn’t find it anywhere anymore. My brother lives in nashville where you can get it anywhere(target, publix gas stations etc). I visited last month and stocked up on 12 pk cans of MY. It tastes alot more citrusy and delicious than Mountain Dew although I like dew as well. Side note, I think vault tastes like crap.

  23. I don’t like either of these, but I do enjoy Sun Drop once in a while. It’s the same basic flavor, but a little lighter.

  24. Mt. Dew is much, much better. 🙂

    From Ohio.. Both are available, but I really can’t remember the last time I saw a Mello Yellow commercial. I am sure I must’ve at some point in life. I did just get a book for my birthday title Mountain Dew: The History, so I’m a little biased. 🙂

    I think the closest flavor to Mt. Dew is Big K’s Citrus Drop though. I really do think there is a big difference in flavor between Mt. Dew and Mello Yellow.

  25. Coca-cola tried to replace Mello Yello here in Wisconsin with Surge and then Vault. Both tasted like glorified green kool-aid. Surge failed and Vault is now on clearance everywhere.

    Mello Yello is my favorite and has been for over a decade. Mt Dew is extremely sweet and flat. Go ahead and shake a can…no eruptions when you open it. To drink Dew it has to be absolutely ice cold otherwise it makes you feel sick to your stomach.

    Mello Yello is my favorite beverage and I wish they would market it nation-wide. I was in Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, South Carolina and couldn’t find Mello Yello anywhere. When I asked for it, they looked at me like I had a foot growing out of my forehead.

    No contest between these Citrus pops.

  26. Good news!
    After seeing Mello Yello in all the Publix grocery stores in Nashville, I contacted corporate and asked them if they could carry it here in Orlando.

    Success! The four Publix near my house now carry mello yello 12 pack cans. You can find them at the winter park (near mills and lee and mills and fairbanks), college park and on Colonial near mills locations for those Orlando Yello heads who are on the search.

  27. Well….
    I love Mello Yello it is much more citrusy than Mountain Dew. But when you add in Sun Drop to the mix, it has the most pizazz! I live in SC and we have it most places around here.

  28. I’m in Iowa, and we’ve got Mello Yello.
    I actually like both. I’ll go for the Dew more often, but I like to change it up occasionally. I don’t have a true allegiance to either. Main reason is I drink Dew more often is we’ve got Pepsi machines where I work, so I have to go for the Dew.
    Not a huge difference between the two, in my opinion.

  29. I’m from downstate Illinois and we have Mello Yello. I can even find it at the fountain in some Hardee’s. I now live in Arizona and i can’t find it anywhere. I miss it so much.

  30. You guys are bonkers. Mello-Yello is the only way to go. I was a Mt. Dew junkie and my best friend was a Sun Drop fanatic. Now we both agree, Mello-Yello kicks butt. It has a hint of tangerine which no other yellow drink has and it’s also the only one that’s still good hot. Yes, I said hot, if you have a sore throat try it it will work wonders.

  31. Mellow Yello is way better than Mountain Dew. While MY is sometimes hard to find in Maryland, I just found out the Subway near my house has it on fountain! Hells yeah!

  32. so yeah both moutain dew and mellow yellow are offered in North Dakota and that’s about as far north as you can get!!! lol but i do prefer mellow yellow but there really isn’t uch different

  33. Both are available in MN, however Dew is FAR easier to find. In the gas station there will be about 12 rows of Dew and 2 rows of Mello Yello, if they have Mello Yello at all. You can NEVER go into a gas station and not find Dew though. Some people around here even think they don’t make mello yello anymore, despite it being offered in most fast food restaurants with coke products. Mello Yello is a lot cheaper. i just went to the grocery store yesterday and Mt Dew was $4.75 compared to $3.20 for Mello Yello. of course…i took the very last case of Mello Yello. Mt Dew was everywhere.

    In my opinion there is a pretty big difference in taste. I like both, but i drink Mt Dew more often because it is so readily available. Sometimes i get sick of Mt Dew and switch to Mello Yello to pretend like it really matters. i sorta feel like a rebel drinking mello yello haha.

    Mt Dew clearly has the upper hand around here.

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