Okay, hands up: Who here remembers Zima? It was an iconic alcoholic beverage of the mid-’90s? Clear, oddly grooved bottle? Citrus flavor? Tooth-stripping sweetness level? Bringing back any memories that you’d rather leave buried forever? Alright, now you’re in the right frame of mind.
The original Zima was first released in 1993 by MillerCoors and caused something of a sensation at the time. Marketed as an alternative to beer, it was one of the revolutionary products of its day that helped establish the “malternative beverage” segment of the market, now commonly referred to as simply “coolers.” Although the original Zima’s time came and went, its existence was highly influential to the likes of Smirnoff Ice, Mike’s Hard Lemonade and even the “hard soda” craze of the last few years, as exemplified by Not Your Father’s Root Beer. Zima was the ur-product to all of those—sort of gross, but undeniably influential.
And now, if you never got a chance to actually drink some Zima the first time around, you’re going to have another shot. As they first did last summer, MillerCoors is re-releasing a limited quantity of Zima, but this year they’re upping production substantially. After last year’s nostalgia-fueled run of Zima sold out in far less time than predicted, this year the run will be 40 percent larger. They’re also leaning hard into that ‘90s nostalgia with videos that reference the impending Zima shortage as “Z2K,” a flashback for any of us who were alive during the Y2K panic at the end of 1999, when survivalists feared that computer systems might crash en masse during the year 2000 New Year’s celebrations.
“Everyone needs to try Zima once — it is a novelty,” said Dilini Fernando, MillerCoors senior marketing manager for innovation. “If it’s not for the crystal-clear appearance and familiar citrus taste, it’s the iconic fluted bottle. So, if you didn’t get your hands on a six-pack last year, now is the time to see what all the hype is about and stock up.”
If you’re not sold by the promise of “familiar taste,” I’m not sure how we can help you any further, beyond telling you that you can see a full list of locations where the gimmick Zima is available for the near future.