|Type||Lemon-lime soft drink|
|Country of origin||United States|
2016 (as Mist Twst)
2018 (reintroduction as Sierra Mist)
|Discontinued||2016 (as Sierra Mist)|
2018 (as Mist Twst)
|Related products||Teem, Slice|
Sierra Mist is a lemon-lime flavored soft drink line. Originally introduced by PepsiCo in 1999, it was eventually made available in all United States markets by 2003. The drink was rebranded as Mist Twst in 2016, although it reverted to Sierra Mist in 2018. The brand is aimed at competing with The Coca-Cola Company's Sprite brand and Dr Pepper Snapple Group's 7 Up.
PepsiCo began test-marketing potential lemon-lime sodas in 1998, introducing a formulation known as Storm that never made it past the test-marketing stage. Prior lemon-lime sodas from PepsiCo included Teem, which had been introduced in 1960 but discontinued in 1984, when they introduced the Slice line of fruit-flavored sodas, which launched with a lemon-lime flavor. The company introduced Sierra Mist in 1999. The selection of the name "Sierra Mist" was based on favorable market research involving 2,000 people from over 1,000 possible names. "Sierra" had previously been a proposed name for what became the original (10% juice-formula, lemon-lime) Slice in 1984. Diet Sierra Mist was also introduced in 2000, and sales of both diet and original Sierra Mist totaled $100 million in its first year of production. Many PepsiCo bottlers continued to bottle 7 Up until existing agreements with Cadbury Schweppes expired in January 2003, at which point its distribution was expanded nationwide in the U.S. In 2004 the beverage had surpassed 7 Up on the basis of annual retail sales, placing it as the 2nd most-purchased lemon-lime soft drink in the U.S. (Sprite being the 1st).
In 2005, Diet Sierra Mist was renamed Sierra Mist Free, intended as a descriptor of the beverage being "free of" sugar, calories, carbohydrates and caffeine. This name change was reverted to the original name, Diet Sierra Mist, in November 2008. In late 2006, PepsiCo introduced Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash. It was available only during the Winter holiday season. Cranberry Splash returned in the fall and winter of 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 along with Diet Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash. In May 2007, Sierra Mist Lemon Squeeze was introduced. This limited edition featured a higher concentration of lemon flavor and was only available through September 2007.
Sierra Mist can and bottle labels were redesigned as a part of PepsiCo's broader redesign of its core carbonated soft drink brands in 2008, with Sierra Mist Free reverting to the Diet Sierra Mist name in the process. The Sierra Mist logo was later redesigned again in March 2010 with a typeface similar to that of the current Pepsi design. Sierra Mist underwent a more significant rebranding in August 2010, in response to shifting consumer preferences towards products made with "natural" ingredients – according to beverage industry and general news media reporting at the time. On August 29, 2010, Sierra Mist was replaced with Sierra Mist Natural, although the original Sierra Mist still remained stocked in markets until late 2010. Updated logos, bottle labeling and can designs were also implemented at the same time. At this time, the Sierra Mist drink was reformulated, sweetened with sucrose instead of high-fructose corn syrup.
In Fall 2014, Stevia was added as an adjunctive sweetener.
On December 18, 2015, Pepsi announced that the name of Sierra Mist would be changing to Mist Twst at an unknown point in spring 2016, in line with Pepsico's sponsorship agreement with the NBA, which replaced Coca-Cola's previous sponsorship and its broad campaign with the league for Sprite. The name change was officially made in late March 2016.
In Summer 2018, the Mist Twst brand reverted to Sierra Mist.
From 2000 until 2010 Sierra Mist was sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup, and its other ingredients were listed as carbonated water, citric acid, natural flavors, potassium benzoate, potassium citrate, ascorbic acid and calcium disodium EDTA. Diet Sierra Mist is sweetened with aspartame and acesulfame potassium.
Sierra Mist Natural
In August 2010 PepsiCo replaced the original Sierra Mist formula with Sierra Mist Natural, which is sweetened with sucrose (table sugar) instead of high fructose corn syrup. The new formulation contains four other ingredients: carbonated water, citric acid, natural flavor, potassium citrate, and a preservative.
Addition of stevia
By 2013, Sierra Mist Natural reverted in name to simply Sierra Mist, and in 2014 the formulation was changed to use a combination of sucrose and stevia as sweeteners, in an effort to cut calories in drinks. The change proved unpopular, with complaints of the stevia introducing an unpleasant aftertaste.
In December 2015, PepsiCo announced that they were changing the name of Sierra Mist to "Mist Twst" in Spring 2016. The change occurred in some areas in March 2016. The new Mist Twst has added high-fructose corn syrup back to the formula.
Return of Sierra Mist
In July 2018, Sierra Mist returned to its natural formula from 2010, made with real sugar and no stevia.
Promotion and sponsorship
In 2005, a series of improv-based Sierra Mist commercials titled "Mist Takes" began airing. The commercials featured comedians Nicole Sullivan, Debra Wilson, Aries Spears, Jim Gaffigan and Michael Ian Black. In 2006, Kathy Griffin, Tracy Morgan and Guillermo Diaz joined the cast. Diaz and other members of the cast of Otro Rollo starred in the Spanish-language versions of the commercials. In 2007, Nicole Randall Johnson and Eliza Coupe joined the cast, replacing Debra Wilson and Kathy Griffin.
In December 2007, PepsiCo trademarked the names Sierra Mist: Undercover Orange and Sierra Mist Free: Undercover Orange. The two sodas launched under a limited-time release in the summer of 2008 (with the faces of Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway on their labels), serving as a marketing tie-in with the release of the Warner Bros. film Get Smart on June 20, 2008. Sierra Mist: Undercover Orange and Sierra Mist Free: Undercover Orange were both clear sodas, like regular and Diet Sierra Mist, but had a mandarin orange flavor.
Sierra Mist was an official partner and sponsor of Major League Soccer and two franchises within the league, the New England Revolution and D.C. United. The league deal ended in 2015 when Coca-Cola announced a partnership with MLS and the US Soccer Federation.
|Name||Dates of production||Description|
|Sierra Mist (with real sugar)||2010–2016, 2018–present||Lemon-lime flavored soft drink made with natural lemon and lime flavors, real sugar and other natural ingredients. Formerly known as Sierra Mist Natural. A new logo was unveiled September 2014 to consumers. As of 2016, Sierra Mist (with real sugar) remains stocked at some locations alongside Mist Twst. In 2018, following the rebranding back to Sierra Mist, the flavor has begun returning to stores.|
|Sierra Mist Zero Sugar||2000–2016, 2018–present||Lemon-lime soda containing 100-percent natural flavors and zero calories. Diet Sierra Mist contained sucralose and acesulfame potassium as its artificial sweeteners. Formerly known as "Diet Sierra Mist"|
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