|Type||Lemon-lime soft drink|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Related products||Sprite, 7 Up|
Sierra Mist is a lemon-lime flavored soft drink. The new formula, branded as Sierra Mist, was introduced by PepsiCo in 1999, replacing Slice and Storm, and eventually became available in all United States markets by 2003 and competed with The Coca-Cola Company's Sprite brand.
Following initial test marketing, PepsiCo first introduced Sierra Mist in 1999, replacing similar soft drinks such as lemon-lime Slice and the test-marketed Storm. The selection of the name "Sierra Mist" was based on favorable market research involving 2,000 people. "Sierra Mist" was selected from over 1,000 possible names. It is worth noting that "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.
At the time of its launch in 1999, Sierra Mist was distributed only in certain regional markets, due to bottling and distribution agreements between Pepsi Bottling Group and 7 Up parent company Cadbury Schweppes. The 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, which is sweetened with sucrose, instead of high-fructose corn syrup. In 2013, Sierra Mist Natural became Sierra Mist (with real sugar). As of Fall 2014, Stevia was added as an adjunctive sweetener.
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 replacement
In August 2010 PepsiCo replaced the original Sierra Mist namesake product 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 and potassium citrate.
As of 2013, Sierra Mist Natural is now known as simply Sierra Mist, although is still sweetened with real sugar. Stevia is also used.
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.
Despite not introducing any flavors after 2012, the logo was changed in 2014.
Sierra Mist variants
|Name||Dates of production||Description|
|Sierra Mist (with real sugar)||2010–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, although some bottles & packages use the 2013 labels and packaging. All bottles and packaging will carry the new logo come May 2015.|
|Sierra Mist (Fountain)||2000–present||As of March 2012, Sierra Mist dispensed via soda fountains at restaurants and other retail food-service locations remains under the name "Sierra Mist", as it has not yet been converted to "Sierra Mist (with real sugar)." Fountain versions of Sierra Mist are the regular HFCS sweetened version since almost all soda fountains use HFCS and use the original formula of Sierra Mist.|
|Diet Sierra Mist||2000–present||Lemon-lime soda containing 100-percent natural flavors and zero calories. Diet Sierra Mist contains sucralose and acesulfame potassium as its artificial sweeteners.|
|Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash||2006–present||Cranberry flavored Sierra Mist made with natural flavor and real sugar. Cranberry Splash is only available during the Winter holiday season. In some places such as North Carolina, this variant is available year-round. A new logo was unveiled September 2014 for year-round distribution, and will be unveiled during the 2014 holiday season anywhere else.|
|Diet Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash||2006–present||A zero-calorie version of Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash made with natural flavors. Diet Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash contains artificial sweeteners.|
The drink has not been discontinued at this time.
- Sprite, competing lemon-lime soft drink created by The Coca-Cola Company
- Slice, former flagship lemon-lime beverage produced PepsiCo
- Teem, PepsiCo's first lemon-lime brand
- 7 Up, another lemon-lime drink distributed by PepsiCo outside the United States.
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