Say Goodbye to Sierra Mist – PepsiCo Is Replacing The Lemon-Lime Soda With ‘Starry’

Here’s what it tastes like.

January 20, 2023

Starry Lemon Lime Soda

Photo by: Photo courtesy of PepsiCo

Photo courtesy of PepsiCo

So long, Sierra Mist. Hello … Starry?

Sierra Mist’s eventful existence, which began in 1999, is again coming to an end. PepsiCo is discontinuing the lemon-lime flavored soft drink — as it did previously, following formula and name changes (remember “Mist Twist”?), only to reintroduce the brand in the summer of 2018.

But please dry your eyes, lemon-lime soda fans. As PepisCo taketh away, it also giveth. The soft-drink giant is introducing a new lemon-lime soda in Sierra Mist’s stead: Starry.

The new soda, now in U.S. stores in bottles and cans of various sizes, is caffeine free, available in both regular and “zero sugar” versions, and promises “the crisp, refreshing bite consumers have been longing for in the lemon lime flavored soda category,” which, PepsiCo notes in a press release, has been growing since 2019 but “dominated by one brand for years.” (Looking at you, Coca Cola’s Sprite, which significantly outsells Keurig Dr Pepper’s 7Up.)

With the tagline “Starry Hits Different,” PepsiCo says it wants to give consumers a new choice in the lemon-lime category and is targeting people who are “simultaneously optimistic about the future and [bring] a sense of irreverence to their everyday.”

"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,” Danielle Barbaro, vice president of research and development at PepsiCo Beverages North America, says. “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 says its new beverage is “easy-to-drink, optimally sweet, and delivers both an exceptional taste and flavor experience.”

We got an early taste of Starry, and our tasters agreed it was “sweet, but not in an overpowering way.”

“The sweetness is front and center and the lemon/lime flavor is subtle,” they say, adding that, while Starry is clear in color like Sprite and 7Up, it struck them as a little less carbonated than those drinks. Also, despite its eye-catching, brightly colored packaging, the drink “doesn’t pop with flavor.” Overall, they described Starry as “smooth and subtle,” with sort of a grownup-party vibe.

On social media, the reviews for Starry have been generally positive; one Instagrammer said it was “Better than Sierra Mist.”

Sierra Mist fans, meanwhile, seem to be taking news of that soft drink’s demise surprisingly well.

“You’ll be missed Sierra Mist. You were good while you were around,” one wrote in response to what might be the soda brand’s final Instagram post, amidst a chorus of RIPs.

“we will miss you :( I hope you come back.. Some day…” another said.

“Goodbye goodbye goodbye u were bigger than the whole sky,” wrote someone we can only assume is a fan of both the discontinued beverage and Taylor Swift.

For sure, you were more than just a short time, Sierra Mist. But welcome, Starry.

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