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.