Is there a market for a “breakfast drink” that tastes like soda, looks like an energy drink, and is infused with just enough juice customers can feel less guilty about drinking it in the morning? Mountain Dew thinks so.
PepciCo Inc., owner of Mountain Dew, announced it is rolling out a new drink aimed at consumers who want a morning drink that’s not coffee or tea-based. The concoction, made with 5 percent juice, Mountain Dew, extra vitamins and caffeine, is called Kickstart. Taco Bell already sells a version of it at some of its chains named Mountain Dew A.M.
“Whether it’s catching the first waves at sunrise, managing bumper to bumper traffic on the way to the office or hitting fresh powder on the slopes at first light, new Kickstart by Mountain Dew offers a refreshing and energizing take on your morning routine,” PepsiCo announced in a bubbly press release.
Industry experts say the move is calculated to get a corner on the quickly growing energy drink market without all of the problems energy drinks have recently come up against. The FDA is currently investigating 13 deaths associated with consumption of 5-hour ENERGY, which contains mystery ingredients and over 200 milligrams of caffeine, the amount of caffeine most other energy drinks contain. Kickstart uses ingredients already in soda and has 92 milligrams of caffeine per can. By comparison, a cup of coffee has about 125 milligrams of caffeine, and a regular can of Mountain Dew contains 72 milligrams.
Kickstart will come in two flavors, Orange Citrus and Fruit Punch, and contain 80 calories per can. The low calories are thanks to artificial sweeteners.
“Our consumers told us they are looking for an alternative to traditional morning beverages – one that tastes great, includes real fruit juice and has just the right amount of kick to help them start their days. We heard them loud and clear and created a completely new offering with Kickstart to give them exactly what they asked for,” said Greg Lyons, Vice President of Marketing for Mountain Dew, in a statement.
This isn’t the first time the soft drink giant has tried out a morning cola, reports BevReview.com. Pepsi A.M. was introduced in 1989 and proved to be a commercial failure, probably in part because its name led consumers to think it was suitable only for morning use, which advertisers know is a big mistake. PepsiCo seems to have learned a thing or two since then about product branding, and smartly sidesteps labeling their drink for morning-use only. Besides refraining from calling it a morning-only or energy drink, they also say it is not a soda, but rather a “juice drink” because of the 5 percent juice content.
Kickstart will be available in stores February 25.
Photo: Mountain Dew/Facebook