If you were lucky enough to score this flavor via sweepstakes last year, you know how this tastes. But if you weren’t lucky, here’s your opportunity to try this marshmallow-flavored-Pepsi. It’s also available in cans. (Spotted by @ audiopanacea at Shell.)
PepsiCo is aiming higher by replacing Sierra Mist with the new lemon-lime soda Starry. Mist Twist, the previous rebranding effort, failed to unseat the current king of the lemon-lime mountain, Sprite. Will aiming for the stars be enough to achieve the stratospheric sales growth Pepsi desires?
Let’s get to brass tacks: Starry tastes like every other lemon-lime soda I’ve ever had. The difficulty in describing this soda is how similar it is not only to its precursor but all lemon-lime sodas. If you taste a Coke next to a Pepsi, you can tell they’re the same flavor but also have notable differences. A Mug Root Beer tastes different than Barq’s. Sprite and 7Up or Sierra Mist and Starry? Not so much.
I tasted both the regular and zero sugar versions, and there was more of a difference between these two than between Starry and the competition. I prefer the zero sugar version because I’m used to diet sodas, and it tastes crisper. Full sugar Starry was comparatively syrupy, but I imagine someone with different preferences would think otherwise.
If I had to guess a change between Starry and Sierra Mist, it would be that Starry has a slightly more natural citrus aroma. To test this, I ran to my local Kwik Trip again to pick up a remaining bottle of Sierra Mist before they either were sold out or agents of PepsiCo confiscated them. A head-to-head comparison between old and new sodas revealed that I wasn’t mistaken in thinking the aroma was different, but it’s so negligible that you have to be looking for it.
Because the lemon-lime sodas are so similar, the best way to differentiate Sierra Mist from Starry is through their labeling. And on that count, Starry comes out on top. Sierra Mist’s combination of lemon, lime, mountains, and color palette creates something light and crisp but also a bit busy, making it easy to overlook. Starry removes the mountain, uses a more vivid yellow and green, and most importantly, has bold black outlining. The black banding on the Zero Sugar version is especially striking.
Starry is another solid entry in the lemon-lime soda market. It may not do anything new, but taken on its terms as a rebranding effort, it succeeds.
Purchased Price: $ 1.39 Size: 20 fl oz bottles Purchased at: Kwik Trip Rating: 7 out of 10 (Regular), 7 out of 10 (Zero Sugar) ?Nutrition Facts:Regular – 240 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 mg milligrams of cholesterol, 55 milligrams of sodium, 65 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 65 grams of sugar (including 65 grams added sugars), and 0 gram of protein. Zero Sugar 10 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 mg milligrams of cholesterol, 60 milligrams of sodium, 0 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 0 gram of protein.
This features fruity cereal flavored ice cream with confetti sprinkles and coated fruity cereal pieces. Confetti sprinkles? That seems a bit extra to me since it appears there’s already colorful cereal pieces. (Spotted by @goatheadjp at Rouses Market.)
Intentionally overbaked Cheez-It crackers in a flavor that’s as divisive as the idea of slightly burning your snacks on purpose. People seem to either love the original Extra Toasty Cheez-It crackers or not understand why they exist. Similarly, the Cheddar Jack variety ranks higher than the original for many people, while others find it overly cheese-powdered and weird.
How are they?
Really tasty and just how they’re supposed to be. They live up to their extra toasty name with every square bronzed on both sides. It’s a carefully controlled browning and none of the crackers come close to tasting burnt. The cheddar jack flavor is assertive; it’s tangy but also smooth and very cheesy. The cheese powder seems less prominent on these as compared to the regular Cheddar Jack Cheez-It, so if that was a sticking (dusting?) point for you, these should be less offensive.
Anything else you need to know?
They have a bit of a “pizza-flavored snack” taste to them. The extra toasting reminds me of the browned spots on pizza cheese and the overall flavor has a familiarity with some pizza-flavored chips and crackers I’ve had before.
They’re not going to become my favorite Cheez-It, but that being said, I couldn’t stop eating them and would buy them again. If you’re a fan of the regular Extra Toasty or Cheddar Jack flavors, I think you’ll love these. If you don’t have a strong opinion on Cheez-It crackers but appreciate salty, cheesy snacks, these are definitely worth a try.
Purchased Price: $4.99 Size: 12.4 oz box Purchased at: Jewel-Osco Rating: 8 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (26 crackers) 150 calories, 8 grams of total fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, less than 1 gram of total sugar (0 grams of added sugar), and 3 grams of protein.