REVIEW: Starry Lemon Lime Soda

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.

38 thoughts to “REVIEW: Starry Lemon Lime Soda”

  1. The problem with Serra mist marketing. That our independence pepsi jobber. Didn’t carry the brand. We would have travel over 50 miles. Just find another pepsi jobber who carry it. If we travel on other issues. We would 4 to 5 cases of cans drink. So we could drink them when we wanted too.

    1. My family & I are Diet Sprite & Sprite Zero drinkers, although when it’s not available, we drink Sierra Mist. We tried Starry & DO NOT like it! If the Sierra Mist label was “too busy looking,” just update the label & leave the flavor alone. We actually enjoy the taste of Sierra Mist. Please bring it back!

    2. I semi agree, I prefer sprite or even diet sprite but this is no bueno. I’ll pass,
      But they have diet or sprite zero cranberry. When did that happen

  2. It’s funny you say that you can’t tell the difference between lemon-lime sodas. I can’t stand Sierra Mist but I enjoy Sprite a lot.

    1. Funny how people’s tastes are different. I can definitely distinguish lemon lime pops, to the point where I legit don’t like Sprite but like 7up and Sierra Mist.

      That said i really liked this new offering. The citrus was more pronounced, almost tasted like there was some grapefruit in it to me.

      1. I’m another that can definitely tell lemon-lime offerings apart. I’m a Sprite person (and prefer Zero for a less syrupy/thick taste) for sure.

        I don’t like 7up or Sierra Mist… and showing my age, I thought Sprite was superior to Slice back when that was the offering.

        I haven’t tried Starry yet, but I’m looking forward to it!

        1. Starry doesn’t use the Sierra Mist formula it’s actually the old Mountain Dew Ice formula I did a taste test for it before covid and it’s nearly identical to the formula down to the Lemon and Lime essence.

  3. I have always been able to taste the difference between the different lemon lime sodas so that surprised me as well.

    For those who has been able to taste the difference over the years, how does this compare? What does it taste most like? I was tempted to buy it a few weeks ago when it first landed but decided to wait for reviews first.

  4. Obviously everyone compares any clear lemon-lime soda to Sprite since its basically the king of that style so that’s what I’ll do. Starry isn’t as crisp as Sprite and doesn’t have as much carbonization to it. There’s some, but its not as much. It’s also a bit sweeter tasting and I think the lemon flavor is more pronounced. It’s been a long time since I had a Sierra Mist, but from what I recall, SM was a pretty darn bland Sprite knock off. Starry is a much better offering than SM. Pepsico did well this time around

  5. Oh my, starry eyed surprise
    Sun down to sun rise
    Dance all night
    We gonna dance all night
    Dance all night to this DJ
    Now sugar, dance all night to this DJ

      1. This is the worst tasting soda, I have ever tried. Nothing like sprite or even 7 up. Will never drink it ever again. You have commercials for it. I think they are a joke. It needs to go!!!!

  6. starry may not be a game changer in the lemon lime soda market but it is easily distinguishable from its former sierra mist. starry definitely has a more pronounced tart citrus flavor when compared to mist. the fact you said you couldnt taste the difference is a joke.

  7. So this new name is worthless. Not to mention that this company went back to providing HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP as a cheap way to sweeten up this nasty drink. You lost many of us because I won’t drink or eat that crap you just put back in. I know this company could care less about us as its just about the money. The second I saw you put High Fructose Corn Syrup back into your game… I WAS OUT. Never coming back. At the moment they have a great Pepsi with real sugar and I’m sure they will end that tooo. Once they do… bye bye. This company does not care about our health. All they care about is money. Nothing new here. I’m going back to Mexican Sprite and Coke. Pepsi will never beat out those two that are made with real sugar. I am going back to those two. Bye Bye Starry nothing… its terrible.

    1. They did this few years ago no one seems to remember They got rid of Sierra Mist and turned it into Mist Twist high fructose garbage and they got a huge backlash from it and quickly switched back.

    1. I’ve had both, this is the replacement for sierra mist. Sierra mist tastes dull. This actually has a strong lemon and lime flavor that’s very noticeable.

  8. Man oh man. So many knickers in a twist in the comments lately! Let’s respect our community and differences of opinions. No need to be mean just for the sake of it. 🙂

  9. I just had my first Sperry drink. It tasted awful. Maybe from a bottle would taste better. Guess I will be drinking more water as I don’t do caffine.

  10. I used to love Sierra Mist , now have to change to sprite , hate starry it taste like Mountain Dew never did like Mountain Dew

  11. I like Sprite and Sierra Mist. 7Up is too sweet. I tried Starry, but didn’t like it. The taste is okay, but it sure needs a lot more carbonation in it. Tasted like the pop sat out all day. It’s flat.
    Would be good, but put in a lot more carbonation in it.

  12. First time i tasted starry (zero sugar), it tasted like Mountain Dew to me. Much more than any of the lemon lime sodas… like sprite or 7 up

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