scorecardPepsi is replacing Sierra Mist with Starry — a new lemon-lime soda designed to rival Sprite and win over Gen Z
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Pepsi is replacing Sierra Mist with Starry — a new lemon-lime soda designed to rival Sprite and win over Gen Z

Bethany Biron   

Pepsi is replacing Sierra Mist with Starry — a new lemon-lime soda designed to rival Sprite and win over Gen Z
Retail1 min read
Starry is taking on Sprite to win over more of the lemon-lime soda market share.    PepsiCo
  • PepsiCo is replacing Sierra Mist with Starry, a new lemon-lime soda.
  • Starry has a "more balanced, cleaner, crisp finish than Sierra Mist," a spokesperson told Insider.

PepsiCo is replacing Sierra Mist with a new lemon-lime soda — Starry.

Starry — caffeine-free and available in regular and zero-sugar varieties — has "higher citrus flavors that are true to fruit and more aromatic which delivers a more balanced, cleaner, crisp finish than Sierra Mist," a spokesperson told Insider.

According to PepsiCo, Starry was developed in response to growing national demand for lemon-lime soda, and as a fresh attempt to compete with Sprite, the Coca-Cola Company-owned brand that has long led the category.

"With Starry, we were able to create a game-changing recipe with the perfect balance of lemon lime flavor and sweetness compared to the competition," Danielle Barbaro, vice president of R&D at PepsiCo Beverages North America, said in a statement.

In 2021, Sprite raked in $6 billion in sales and carried 8.3% of the overall market, according to Statista data. By comparison, Sierra Mist comprised less than a tenth of 1% of market share, according to Beverage Digest data provided to CNN, which first reported on the launch of Starry.

The product already has a social media presence on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok, aimed at attracting younger consumers. PepsiCo said Starry will soon debut a national television campaign and appear at major sports and entertainment events as well.

"With one product dominating the category, consumers deserve another option … one that hits different. Starry is bright, optimistic, and rooted in culture and fun," Greg Lyons, chief marketing officer at PepsiCo Beverages North America, said in a statement.

Neil Saunders, managing director of retail for GlobalData, told CNN that Starry reflects a growing effort among major food and beverage conglomerates to reach previously untapped Gen Z markets.

"The design of Starry is much more aligned with the Gen-Z aesthetic, which is bright, fun, whimsical, Instagram-able, than many of Pepsi's other offerings," Saunders told CNN.

But whether Starry's flavor packs enough punch to compete with Sprite, only time will tell.




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