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Pepsi Just Launched a New Citrus-Flavored Soda That Will Replace Sierra Mist

This one "hits different," according to the company.

Out with the old, in with the new. That's the approach PepsiCo is taking to better position itself within the lemon-lime soda category.

On Jan. 11, the soda giant announced the release of Starry, a caffeine-free, lemon-lime-flavored soda that will replace the brand's 24-year-old Sierra Mist.

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Now available in both original and zero-sugar varieties at retailers nationwide, Starry was created to have a stronger presence against Sprite. According to CNN, Sierra Mist's share of the soda market barely surpassed a tenth of 1% and has been decreasing for at least the past five years. At the same time, Sprite's share has climbed to almost 8%.

"At PepsiCo, we are hyper-focused on consumer centric innovation, and we know there's a strong demand for lemon lime flavored soda with the category continuing to accelerate," Greg Lyons, chief marketing officer at PepsiCo Beverages North America, said in a statement. "With one product dominating the category, consumers deserve another option…one that hits different. Starry is bright, optimistic, and rooted in culture and fun."

Starry lemon lime cans and bottles
Courtesy of PepsiCo

In terms of the new soda's flavor, a representative from PepsiCo told TODAY.com that Starry features "higher citrus flavors that are true to fruit and more aromatic which delivers a more balanced, cleaner, crisp finish than Sierra Mist."

In the company's statement, Danielle Barbaro, vice president of research and development at PepsiCo Beverages North America, added that Starry's has "the perfect balance of lemon lime flavor and sweetness compared to the competition."

Setting itself apart even further, Starry is being geared toward younger consumers, as evidenced by the soda's tagline, "Starry Hits Different," which features internet slang popular among the Gen Z crowd.

Going forward, Starry plans to roll out a national TV commercial, 360 digital and social content, as well as large-scale sports, culture, and entertainment partnerships.

Sierra Mist and Starry aren't PepsiCo's only lemon-lime-flavored sodas. The company previously sold Slice, a line of fruit-flavored soft drinks that was launched in 1984 and discontinued between the late 2000s or early 2010s. Prior to this, PepsiCo test marketed Storm from 1998 to 2000 and debuted Teem in 1959 before giving it the axe in 1984.

Brianna Ruback
Brianna is the Editorial Assistant at Eat This, Not That! She attended Ithaca College, where she graduated with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Communication Studies. Read more about Brianna
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