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Josta Sweet, Loaded With Caffeine

Rick Bonino Food Editor

Maybe you’ve seen those mysterious billboards for Josta around town and wondered what the heck it’s all about.

The new, youth-oriented soft drink from Pepsi has hit the market in selected cities, including Spokane, as The Spokesman-Review’s reader food panel found out firsthand the other night.

Josta’s claim to fame is the guarana berry, a South American import which contributes a fruity flavor and three times the caffeine of coffee beans. It’s also an alleged aphrodisiac, which Pepsi doesn’t mention, although the label refers to “potent flavor” and “raw, primal power.”

If there’s actually anything to it, panel members didn’t let on, although they did seem in an awful hurry to get home.

Josta

Price: 79 cents for 20 ounces.

Nutrition: 110 calories (no fat), 25 milligrams sodium in 8 ounces.

Taste: ***

Value: ***

Comments: “Tastes like a sweet cherry Coke … an event, not a drink!” - Susi Faville

“Caffeinated cough syrup - sweet, zippy - teen-agers will love it. Raw, primal niche marketing.” - Jim McGinty

, DataTimes MEMO: Products sampled by The Spokesman-Review’s reader food panel are prepared in a test kitchen according to package directions. Panelists are not aware of a product’s brand name or price until after they have tasted it. Products are rated from one to five stars for taste and for value, based on quality compared to price.

Products sampled by The Spokesman-Review’s reader food panel are prepared in a test kitchen according to package directions. Panelists are not aware of a product’s brand name or price until after they have tasted it. Products are rated from one to five stars for taste and for value, based on quality compared to price.

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