PepsiCo has just replaced Sierra Mist with a new lemon-lime soda called Starry. The new product is already on shelves in its regular and Zero Sugar versions. This is the company’s move to try to compete with Coca-Cola’s lemon-lime soda Sprite, which captured a 7% share of the American Soda Market, while Sierra only held about 0.1%.
PepsiCo described the new caffeine-free soda in a press release stating that Starry is a “great-tasting soda bursting with lemon-lime flavor that delivers the crisp, refreshing bite consumers have been longing for.”
PepsiCo’s new product has been making noise in the $82 billion beverage industry since last August, when the multinational first registered the Starry brand and the domain starrylemonlime.com.
Its release, targeted towards the Gen Z market, has gained traction in recent months after PepsiCo introduced the drink to operators at a National Convenience Store Association conference in October. And in these first days of 2023, the new soft drink has reached the stores of American retailers such as Walmart, Kroger, and Circle K.
“With one product dominating the category, consumers deserve another option … one that hits differently. Starry is bright, optimistic, and rooted in culture and fun,” said Greg Lyons, chief marketing officer, in a statement.
Although PepsiCo is generally involved in the advertising campaigns surrounding the Super Bowl, it seems that Starry will not have a commercial by itself for the Super Bowl halftime this year.
Starry has received mixed reviews
The company’s new drink was met with diverse opinions from consumers. Some users have criticized its lack of flavor, and even its ingredients, ensuring that it has eliminated sugar from its composition.
Others have expressed enthusiasm for the new design of the drink, stating that the formulation of the lemon-lime beverage is much better than its predecessor. Although most are still comparing it to Sprite, as one consumer said on Twitter:
“Starry is better than I expected. Actually better than Sprite. Hoping to see spinoff flavors of Starry eventually. Starry Cherry or Tropical would be interesting. Just spitballing ideas. What a great launch, tho.”