Heading into the summer my wife Kathy and I found some great unique soda flavors we hoped that companies would keep around for a few months. But as quickly as they appeared in stores, they disappeared.

We both fell in love with Diet Dr. Pepper & Cream Soda. It was a great, unique, sweet taste that we just loved. We got it twice, and poof, haven't seen it at the Walmart in Warrensburg or Bi-Lo since then. We liked it so much that this past store trip Kathy picked up a two liter of Diet Dr. Pepper and a two liter of A&W Diet Cream Soda to see if we could mix the two and recreate the drink.

She also found the Sprite Ginger Zero Sugar and really enjoyed it. I liked it, but not as much as she did. I myself, was glad to find Coca Cola Zero Sugar Vanilla and Coca Cola Zero Sugar Vanilla Cherry. The Coke flavors were more my thing than hers, but she did like the Vanilla ones.

Yet within a month of finding all these flavors, we never saw them again. For awhile you could find the regular Dr. Pepper & Cream Soda or or Coca Cola Vanilla, but not the diet versions. And then nothing all gone. No explanation. No nothing.

Anyway, I stumbled across a news story that may explain why we're just not finding cool unique flavored beverages on shelves. According to Fox News, when the coronavirus pandemic hit and communities got locked down and people stocked up on groceries. They preferred cans over bottles. And in an effort to keep up with demand, the soda companies focused on producing their core products in cans vs. some of the unique flavors they sometimes produce.

The good news, the Warrensburg Murphy Mart has a Coca Cola Freestyle machine. While it may not have the cool Diet Dr. Pepper Cream Soda Flavor, it does have several flavors of Diet Dr. Pepper and several flavors of Coke Zero Sugar. Not to mention many other flavors and brands that aren't easily available in stores. My favorite right now from the Freestyle machine is Coke Zero Sugar Lemon. You want that in a bottle, you'll apparently have to go to Italy to find it.