Sierra Mist, Pepsi's ‘Shockingly Refreshing’ Lemon-Lime Soda, Launches Nationally
Pepsi to Give Away More Than 5 Million Free Samples of Sierra Mist Across the Country on January 14, 2003

PURCHASE, NY (January 06, 2003) – Sierra Mist, Pepsi's answer to consumers' call for a more interesting lemon-lime soft drink, is kicking off the New Year with its national rollout.

Beginning today, Sierra Mist will be available across all retail channels throughout the United States in a full range of single-serve, take-home and fountain packages. Sierra Mist immediately will replace 7UP, which is owned by Cadbury Schweppes in the United States, in roughly 30% of the country increasing Sierra Mist's total U.S. availability to more than 92%.

"Sierra Mist has exceeded our sales expectations and now, with the full support of our bottling partners nationwide, we're mutually committed to making Mist a national success story," said Dawn Hudson, president of Pepsi-Cola North America. "We'll be marketing Sierra Mist as the big national brand it is and selling it alongside of Pepsi and Dew across geographies and customers. By unifying our operations behind a single lemon-lime soft drink, we'll strengthen our competitive position in the marketplace, increase trade efficiencies and put a sharper focus on the winning in the lemon-lime category."

Pepsi is celebrating Sierra Mist's national rollout by taking refreshment to the streets. On Tuesday, January 14, 2003, employees of Pepsi and its bottling partners will be blanketing communities across the United States to give away more than 5 million free samples of Sierra Mist – Pepsi's largest one-day, national sampling event.

Pepsi also will be supporting Sierra Mist's rollout with a national marketing campaign breaking later this month. The new campaign will include TV, radio and Internet advertising, consumer promotions and in-store merchandising materials inviting consumers to "refresh" their lemon-lime soft drink options.

Introduced in October 2000, Sierra Mist was formerly available in about two-thirds of the United States. Sierra Mist is marketed as a "shockingly refreshing" alternative to existing lemon-lime soft drinks. Its more interesting lemon-lime taste is broadly targeted to teens and young adults. Diet Sierra Mist has been available since November 2001.

Sierra Mist is a product of Purchase, NY-based Pepsi-Cola North America (, the $4 billion refreshment beverage unit of PepsiCo, Inc. in the United States and Canada. Its U.S. brands include Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi ONE, Wild Cherry Pepsi, Pepsi Twist, Pepsi Blue, Mountain Dew, Mountain Dew Code Red, Mug, Slice, Aquafina, FruitWorks, Dole single-serve juices and SoBe. The company also makes and markets North America's best-selling ready-to-drink iced teas and coffees, respectively, via joint ventures with Lipton and Starbucks.

# # #

Sierra Mist Factoids

  • Sierra Mist is a lemon-lime soda, with a fresher lemon-lime taste – and another great reason to choose a Pepsi product.
  • Lemon-lime is a $6.5 billion flavor segment, capturing almost 11 percent of total US soft drink sales. It's larger than the root beer, orange and ginger ale categories combined – second only to cola among the country's most popular soft drinks.
  • In extensive focus groups and home use tests conducted during the development of Sierra Mist, study participants consistently described its taste as "fresher," "cleaner," "less syrupy sweet" and "less harsh" than existing lemon-lime products.
  • Sierra Mist was introduced to roughly two-thirds of the United States in October 2000 and reached national distribution in January 2003. Sierra Mist is available in single-serve and take-home packages including 20-ounce, 24-ounce and two-liter plastic bottles, 12-ounce aluminum cans and multi-pack cartons. It is also available in cups at fountain outlets.
  • In 2001, Sierra Mist's packaging graphics were redesigned to dial up lemon-lime refreshment and project a more contemporary image. Twenty-ounce and two-liter plastic bottles of Sierra Mist feature a unique, clear-label design with stylized graphics that better communicate the caffeine-free brand's fresher, cleaner lemon-lime taste. The distinctive new graphics also appear on individual 12-ounce cans, paperboard multi-packs and fountain cups.
  • Sierra Mist also introduced a diet version in 2001. Diet Sierra Mist's proprietary flavor profile and sweetener blend (aspartame and acesulfame-potassium) provides a lighter, more refreshing option among existing diet lemon-limes.
  • Sierra Mist is broadly targeted to teens and adults, with an 18-to-29-year-old demographic bull's-eye. There's also a significant ethnic emphasis, including African-Americans and Latinos.

Return to Main Page