PURCHASE, NY. — PepsiCo, Inc. is rolling out a lemon lime soda called Starry. Launching in both regular and zero-sugar varieties, the beverage is geared toward Gen Z consumers and will compete with The Coca-Cola Co.’s Sprite.
“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,” said Greg Lyons, chief marketing officer at PepsiCo Beverages North America. “With one product dominating the category, consumers deserve another option … one that hits different. Starry is bright, optimistic and rooted in culture and fun.”
PepsiCo previewed the marquee addition to its North America Beverages portfolio at the National Association of Convenience Stores Show in October. The caffeine-free soft drink is now available at retailers and foodservice outlets nationwide.
“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,” said Danielle Barbaro, vice president of R&D at PepsiCo Beverages North America.
Starry will serve as the successor to Sierra Mist, which has struggled with lagging sales. Data from Beverage Digest show Sierra Mist held less than 0.1% dollar share among carbonated soft drinks in 2022, while Sprite’s share was nearly 7%.
PepsiCo has taken several steps to spur sales for Sierra Mist in recent years, briefly reformulating the soda with stevia and updating its name to Mist Twist in 2015. It reverted to the original name three years later. The company previously took aim at Sprite in 1984 with the launch of Slice, which was discontinued in North America in 2000, and again in 1998 with Storm, which was only offered in test markets.The latest attempt at competing in the lemon lime soda category features promotional material geared toward younger consumers. PepsiCo said Starry is “purpose-driven” and “built for Generation Z.” The soda’s packaging claims the brand is taking “steps on sustainability.”