(WXIN) – Pepsi is pouring Sierra Mist down the drain in favor of its new Starry soda.
Starry, available at U.S. retailers this week, appears to be Pepsi’s attempt to compete with Sprite, a Coca-Cola product which far outsells its similarly flavored counterparts across the globe. Starry is described as “bursting” with lemon-lime flavor, according to PepsiCo, which hopes to “give people a choice in an area that’s been dominated by one brand for years.”
Starry is offered in both Regular and Zero Sugar varieties, according to a PepsiCo news release. The product is already available in north central West Virginia; a 12 News reporter captured a photo at the Kroger on Emily Drive in Clarksburg on Thursday.
Starry is replacing the now-discontinued Sierra Mist, a PepsiCo brand that launched in 1999 but struggled to compete with Sprite. Based on Beverage Data provided to CNN, Sierra Mist had only captured a small fraction of Sprite’s market share, which Statistica estimated at just over 8%.
A representative for PepsiCo, however, claimed in a statement obtained by Nexstar that Starry and Sierra Mist do not share the same recipe, with Starry having “higher citrus flavors that are true to fruit and more aromatic.”
The new brand is also aiming to differentiate itself from the competition with its first tag line: “Starry Hits Different.”
“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, the vice president of research and development at PepsiCo North America, in this week’s press release.
A national TV campaign for Starry, as well as “large-scale” partnerships with sports and entertainment groups, are planned for “the coming months,” according to PepsiCo.
Starry, meanwhile, is far from PepsiCo’s first attempt to recapture the market for lemon-lime soda. In addition to Sierra Mist, PepsiCo had previously offered Teem, a lemon-lime soda sold throughout the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, as well as Slice, which came in a lemon-lime variety, among others.
PepsiCo had also attempted to develop a lemon-lime soda called Storm, a PepsiCo executive once confirmed to the Atlanta Business Chronicle. It doesn’t appear the product ever made it past testing, however.