Sierra Mist is out, Starry is in.
For decades, Coca-Cola product Sprite has been the first and foremost name in the world of lemon-lime flavored sodas. Major competitors like Pepsi have tried for nearly as long to take on the clear, bubbly giant with products like Sierra Mist, but have never quite been able to wrestle the market majority away. In a renewed effort to take on Coke and Sprite, Pepsi has decided to retire its citrus soda in favor of a younger face.
Pepsi announced this week that they are formally retiring the Sierra Mist line of sodas, and have immediately begun rolling out its replacement: Starry, a new caffeine-free lemon-lime soda available in both regular and sugar-free varieties. Starry has already begun shipping out to grocery stores around the United States.
According to a Pepsi spokesperson that spoke to CNN, Starry’s flavor profile has “higher citrus flavors that are true to fruit and more aromatic” than Sprite or Sierra Mist. This flavor profile inspired Starry’s Gen Z-targeted tagline: “Starry Hits Different.”
RIP Sierra Mist. Starry Soda is Pepsi's newest attempt to take on Sprite https://t.co/FuWpX5KQl2
— Bloomberg (@business) January 11, 2023
“The design of Starry is much more aligned with the Gen-Z aesthetic, which is bright, fun, whimsical, Instagramable, than many of Pepsi’s other offerings,” Neil Saunders, managing director of retail for GlobalData, told CNN.
“Starry enters a market segment dominated by the Coca-Cola brand and, at the same time, is a new brand in an already-crowded carbonated soft drink category,” said Billy Roberts, a senior food and drink analyst for Mintel. “However, this could be to its advantage, bringing something new into a category where younger consumers have shown a penchant for breaking away from the tried-and-true to experiment with new flavors and formulations.”