PepsiCo rolls out a lemon-lime drink called Starry, a Sprite competitor

PepsiCo has started rolling out its latest soda, a lemon-lime offering called Starry that will target Gen Z consumers.

Starry competes with Coca-Cola’s Sprite and is available in regular and zero-sugar versions. Promotional materials for Starry refer to the drink as a “purpose-driven brand built for Generation Z” and “a crisp, refreshing formula with a bite to win share and grow the category.” Starry’s packaging also said the soda is a “fun escape” that also takes “steps on sustainability.”

PepsiCo has launched a number of beverages aimed at competing with Sprite since the early 1980s, including Slice and Storm. Its current lemon-lime soda offering, Sierra Mist, which launched in 2000, has faced dwindling sales over the past decade and may be discontinued. PepsiCo has attempted to revamp the soda in the past, briefly changing its formula to include stevia sweetener in 2015. That year, it also renamed the drink Mist Twist before reverting back to Sierra Mist in 2018.

The attempts have not proved fruitful, as Sierra Mist only had a 0.1% dollar share of carbonated soft drinks as of last October, compared to 6.9% for Sprite, according to Beverage Digest. Given the popularity of the lemon-lime soda space, launching a product with its own branding aimed at the lucrative Gen Z consumer segment could allow PepsiCo to gain market share.