Mello Yello and Mountain Dew are popular citrus sodas and competitors in the soda world. Mountain Dew greatly outsells Mello Yello but does it taste better? Here you will find a comparison of these two beverages including our thoughts on which soda we preferred.
At the end of this article, you will find a poll where you can anonymously vote for your favorite. Please consider voting if you’ve tried both.
Mello Yello vs. Mountain Dew
The taste testers preferred Mello Yello over Mountain Dew in our blind taste test. It was said to have a generous level of carbonation, unlike the flatter-tasting Mountain Dew. The carbonation helped tone down Mello Yello’s sugary taste, according to the testers. The testers enjoyed its smooth and crisp citrus flavor.
Mountain Dew, on the other hand, was said to be syrupier and sugarier than Mello Yello despite having a gram less sugar. One person commented that it tasted like lemon-lime Gatorade with an abundance of added sugar.
Both of these sodas are an unnatural yellow-green color. The color comes from the addition of a food dye called yellow 5. We were unable to tell a difference in coloring between the sodas when compared (see the above image).
These sodas are extremely comparable in their nutrition. However, you consume fewer calories, carbs, and sugars by opting for Mountain Dew over Mello Yello. We think it’s safe to say that nutrition is not a significant factor for most people when deciding between these two beverages.
|Mello Yello||Mountain Dew|
|Serving Size||12 fl. oz. (360 mL)||12 fl. oz. (360 mL)|
|Includes Added Sugars||47g||46g|
As you likely expected, these sodas contain nearly identical ingredients with concentrated orange juice being one of their signature components. However, both contain natural flavor(s) which is where their flavoring may differ. The FDA doesn’t require manufacturers to list the specific ingredients of these natural flavors, therefore, we have no way to tell the true differences.
Mello Yello – Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Concentrated Orange Juice, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors, Sodium Benzoate And Calcium Disodium Edta (To Protect Taste), Potassium Citrate, Caffeine, Yellow 5, Carob Bean Gum.
Mountain Dew – Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Concentrated Orange Juice, Citric Acid, Natural Flavor, Sodium Benzoate, Caffeine, Sodium Citrate, Gum Arabic, Erythorbic Acid, Calcium Disodium EDTA, Yellow 5.
Caffeine is an added ingredient in both sodas and not naturally occurring in an ingredient. Mountain Dew has more caffeine than Mello Yello but only by 3 milligrams.
The caffeine in Mello Yello and Mountain Dew is high for soda. In comparison, a 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola has 34 milligrams of caffeine and Pepsi has 38 milligrams.
However, the caffeine in these citrus sodas is much lower compared to many energy and coffee drinks. For example, a 12-ounce Monster energy drink and a Starbucks iced coffee of the same size have 120 milligrams of caffeine.
|Mello Yello||12 fl. oz. (1 can)||51|
|Mountain Dew||12 fl. oz. (1 can)||54|
Introduction & Ownership
Mello Yello – This soft drink was introduced in 1979 by Coca-Cola. It was invented to compete with the already successful Mountain Dew brand. Coca-Cola still owns Mello Yello.
Mountain Dew – Mountain Dew was invented during the 1940s by the Tennessee bottlers, Barney and Ally Hartman. It was initially created as a lemon-lime mixer for alcoholic beverages. In fact, the name “Mountain Dew” was another name used in the past for moonshine made in the mountains (source). The brand was acquired by Pepsi-Cola in 1964 and in 1969 Mountain Dew began to be marketed toward adventurous younger soda drinkers similar to recent ad campaigns. PepsiCo is still the parent company of Mountain Dew.
Poll: Mello Yello Vs. Mountain Dew
Now it’s your turn to pick a favorite! If you’ve tasted both sodas, please vote for the one you prefer in our poll!
“Caffeine: Consumer Consumption Habits and Safety Perceptions.” Food Insight, 14 Mar. 2022, https://foodinsight.org/caffeine-consumer-consumption-habits-and-safety-perceptions/.
Fessenden, M. (2016, February 4). Mountain Dew once had ties to moonshine. Smithsonian.com. Retrieved October 28, 2022, from https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/mountain-dew-had-ties-moonshine-once-upon-time-180957978/