Pepsi Retires Sierra Mist And Launches New Lemon-Lime Soda

PepsiCo has welcomed the New Year with several big announcements regarding its soda lineup. The nation's second-largest soft drink company – The Coca-Cola Company was still ranked first as recently as 2021, according to Statista – made news earlier this week when it unveiled a brand new, supposedly "bolder" recipe for Pepsi Zero Sugar, as well as a marketing campaign for the reformulated soda that includes a television ad spot during the upcoming Super Bowl.

The long-running rivalry between PepsiCo and The Coca-Cola Company should not be discounted as a factor in the reformulation of Pepsi Zero Sugar. As CNN Business noted, sales figures indicated Coke Zero was far outpacing the old version of Pepsi Zero Sugar in terms of market share, with the former garnering almost 4% of all cola sales, while the latter remained under 1%.

Similarly, PepsiCo's recent announcement via press release that it's replacing Sierra Mist in favor of a new lemon-lime soda may also be rooted in the ongoing rivalry with The Coca-Cola Company. CNN Business reports that Sierra Mist had fallen well behind Sprite, The Coca-Cola Company's lemon-lime soda, in terms of sales figures. Its numbers have flagged even more noticeably in recent years.

PepsiCo welcomes Starrry to its soft drink lineup

With Sierra Mist retired, PepsiCo is launching a new lemon-lime soda called Starry, the company has announced. The new addition to PepsiCo's soft drinks lineup has its own slogan – "Starry Hits Different" – as well as a new recipe with which to compete with Sprite in what PepsiCo believes is a still-growing lemon lime market segment. CNN Business notes that Starry is largely being marketed to Gen-Z consumers and that its new formulation is more citrusy and sweetly aromatic than that of its predecessor, Sierra Mist.

Although the marketing plan for Starry, which is caffeine free and will be sold in regular and zero-sugar formulations, is still in its formative stages, per PepsiCo, the company expects those plans to include nationwide television commercials, social media blasts @starrylemonlime, and partnerships that encompass both the sports and entertainment worlds.

Whether Starry can close the gap on Sprite remains to be seen. PepsiCo's press release appears to acknowledge Sprite's dominance in the category, although it doesn't mention it by name. But PepsiCo is counting on its fun new youth-focused soda, which it boasts is "optimally sweet," to reclaim a great portion of the lemon-lime market segment, as it believes demand for the soda category is at an all-time high.