Oh, what’s this? The second soda to come out in the last 365 days to be named after the stars? (Well, third if you count Marshmello as a star). But don’t worry you soda connoisseur, you, this one (luckily) stops at the name. That is to say, it is thankfully not another star or space-flavored soda (lookin’ at you, Coca-Cola). So then what is this new Starry soda? It’s none other than Sprite’s newest competitor, PepsiCo’s Starry.
So, what exactly is PepsiCo’s new Starry soda and also why? Was Sierra Mist not good enough for some people?
Turns out that while PepsiCo’s longtime lemon-lime soda Sierra Mist may be good enough for many consumers, it isn’t good enough for PepsiCo. The company’s previous attempt to compete with Sprite, which launched in the year 2000, is reportedly being discontinued. This makes sense—according to Newsweek, Sierra Mist generated $1 billion in sales annually as of 2021, while Sprite generated $6 billion. And, anecdotally, I know fewer than one person who would say that the first lemon-lime soda they think of is Sierra Mist. That is to say, I know zero people for whom Sierra Mist is the default. But PepsiCo’s Starry aims to change that by appealing to whomstes? You guessed it: Gen-Z. PEW PEW PEWPEWPEW PEW (that’s my written airhorn impression). Yes, the new Starry soda aims to appeal to Gen Z by…looking retro? Being more recyclable? Just looking way more fun and less like a can of beer than Sierra Mist did? I’d say all of the above.
As for the taste, the company has said (Via Food Dive) that it is a “crisp, refreshing formula with a bite.” Plus, a YouTuber who reviewed this soda before its release said it was very carbonated and has “very strong lime first and lemon on the backside.” Honestly, I’m here for it. I’d take lime flavor over lemon any day. Do I remember what Sprite tastes like enough to know if it too is lime-forward? I do not. I’ll have to wait for my next long road trip McDonald’s pit stop or a child’s birthday party (the only times I ever have Sprite) to try it again.
In terms of a Starry release date, it’s out now (happy January, y’all) and you can find it at various grocery stores across the country. I do kind of want to try Starry now and compare it to my memories of Sprite. I guess the Gen Z-aimed marketing worked? Ya got me PepsiCo, I want to try it. I’ve got Starrys in my eyes.