We were sifting through the drink section at our neighboring Family Mart when we came across a familiar sight from back home in the States sitting amongst the other cold beverages: a tall, slender, blue and silver can of Red Bull. For as long as we can remember, the popular energy drink was always available here in China but only in a squat gold can. Moreover, it always tasted vastly different than the Red Bull we used to get us through plenty a hazy night back in the day.
We were curious to see if this change to the US version of the can also signified a return to its original flavor, or if it was merely a packaging change, perhaps a product of Red Bull China’s recent switching of advertising agencies from Ogilvy & Mather to JWT back in February. Alas, the China version tastes the same, syrupy in a non-fizz and medicinal kind of way. We went to a Lawson soon thereafter and discovered they only had the shorter gold can in stock. Did we miss something, or has this “new but old” can been around for a while and just ignored by us? After downing both cans in an attempt to figure out any differences between the two other than presentation, we were cold-sweating and jittery (and pretty obnoxious, we’re sure) for the next three hours. Glad to see that Red Bull can still give us wings when called upon.
UPDATE: The commenters have confirmed that this can has been around for a while. Yes, apparently we have been living in a cave these past 4+ years. And please don’t blame our research department; we don’t have one.
Eric Hu is Shanghaiist’s Food Editor. Email tips, recommendations, and news and gossip about Shanghai’s food scene to food at shanghaiist.com.