Sierra Mist has been sidelined once more. Starry is Pepsi’s new competitor in the lemon-lime soda wars.
This is the beverage company’s latest move to compete with Sprite, Coca-lemon-lime Cola’s soft drink that has a 7% share of the $82 billion U.S. soda market, according to Bloomberg. Sierra Mist had a 0.1% stake.
The launch of Starry represents the “most aggressive move made by the company’s reinvigorated beverage business in years,” according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Kenneth Shea.
Sierra Mist was previously replaced with a drink called Mist Twist in 2016, as detailed on the Eat This, Not That food news website. Two years later, that product was phased out and replaced by… Sierra Mist.
The new caffeine-free lemon-lime flavoured soda is now available in regular and Zero Sugar versions on store shelves. Starry is a “great-tasting soda bursting with lemon lime flavour that delivers the crisp, refreshing bite consumers have been longing for,” according to the company’s press release.
“With one product dominating the category, consumers deserve another option… one that hits a different note. “Starry is bright, optimistic, and rooted in culture and fun,” said Greg Lyons, PepsiCo Beverages North America’s chief marketing officer, in a statement.
“It probably makes sense to discontinue the brand and then maybe try something else that’s new to the market, which consumers tend to like,” said Gerald Pascarelli, an analyst with Wedbush Securities. “This is a low-risk move.”
Some soda samplers commented on the new product on Twitter.
Not everyone liked the new drink – one user tweeted a video of himself pouring the soda into a trash can – but one fan said, “Starry is better than I expected.”