For the 4th Time, Pepsi Takes Aim at Coke's Sprite

It hopes Starry will wrest the lemon-lime soda crown away from its No. 1 rival
By Steve Huff,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2023 10:15 AM CDT
For the 4th Time, Pepsi Takes Aim at Coke's Sprite
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/bhofack2)

Pepsi wants a piece of Coca-Cola's lemon-lime pie with its new soft drink, Starry, which it's marketing as for "a generation of irreverent optimists." Bloomberg reports that this marks the company's fourth try at taking on Sprite's dominance. Coca-Cola's clear soda (both regular and diet) claims 75% of US lemon-lime soda sales. PepsiCo first tried with Teem in the '50s. Then it introduced Slice in 1984, following that with Sierra Mist in 1999. As hard as it may have been before to make a product that holds its own against Sprite, Starry also enters a market in decline, as fewer people drink soda, and lemon-lime sodas are just 10% of all soft drink sales.

PepsiCo's rivalry with Coca-Cola is intensifying in other ways, notes The Street, as the company has introduced other new flavors and twists—like PepsiCo-owned Lipton's hard iced teas—to their beverage lineups. Coke has responded to the Starry challenge in direct ways, such as the limited-edition summer flavor, Sprite Lymonade Strawberry. Starry is experiencing a mixed reception from consumers: Some think it's better than predecessor Sierra Mist, while harsher soda critics go to the trouble of recording themselves pouring it out. The Street notes there's already been requests that Starry's lemon-lime be accompanied by new flavors, such as tropical or cherry. (More Pepsi stories.)

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