PepsiCo targets Gen Z with Starry soda launch24 Jan 2023
PepsiCo has launched a lemon-lime soda, Starry, targeting young Gen Z consumers and competing with Coca-Cola’s Sprite and Keurig Dr Pepper’s 7-Up.
PepsiCo said in a press release that the “demand for lemon lime flavored soda has never been greater,” making it an opportune time to challenge category leaders like Sprite, owned by the Coca-Cola Company, and 7-Up, owned by Keurig Dr Pepper.
Starry is already rolling out in the US market with regular and zero sugar formulas that are caffeine-free. Starry, and the predecessor that it is replacing, Sierra Mist, share a lot of the same ingredients, and both have been positioned as direct competitors to Sprite and 7-Up.
After first launching in 2000, Sierra Mist went through several reformulations, with some versions using cane sugar and others using high fructose corn syrup. Starry is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup.
"With Starry, we were able to create a game-changing recipe with the perfect balance of lemon lime flavour and sweetness compared to the competition," said Danielle Barbaro, vice president of research and development at PepsiCo Beverages North America.
Speaking soda directly to Gen Z
PepsiCo is not being shy about its intentions to market the soda to young people, calling Starry “the soda for a generation of irreverent optimists” and “made to speak to Gen Z.”
It is a significant effort by PepsiCo to re-capture the under-25 demographic, which has become elusive to traditional soda brands. Younger generations have shown that they prefer functional beverages that are clean, sustainable, and socially responsible, and that they perceive soda and other sugary drinks as negative and unhealthy.
Starry’s targeted branding is an attempt to change that. PepsiCo kicked off the launch campaign by sending Starry to social media influencers, many of whom posted reviews of the drink online on platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube.
And with its tagline “Starry hits different,” PepsiCo is trying to appeal to internet-savvy customers. Official social media accounts for the drink are already active and using a noticeably casual and youthful brand voice. In its first tweet, Starry said, “Now that we’re real, we’re seeking #Starry stans, so uhhh do your thing...?”
STARRY™, a great-tasting soda bursting with lemon live flavor delivers both an exceptional taste and flavor experience. Image source: prnewswire.com
By comparison, accounts for other PepsiCo beverages, like Pepsi and Gatorade, use a more formal and universal brand voice online to reach a wider customer demographic.
PepsiCo said that marketing plans for the Starry brand will include a national TV commercial, digital, and social content, and partnerships within sports and entertainment.
Health and wellness puts low sugar in focus
Just days after the official Starry launch, PepsiCo announced that it also reformulated another one of its flagship beverages, Pepsi Zero Sugar.
“The upgraded Pepsi Zero Sugar recipe uses a new sweetener system to land a more refreshing and bolder taste profile than the previous Pepsi Zero Sugar varietal,” PepsiCo said in a press release.
Diet, low sugar, and light soda drinks have a bad reputation when it comes to taste. With more people making the switch to flavoured sparkling water or similar alternatives, soda brands are aiming to ensure that their zero sugar drinks taste as close to their regular counterparts as possible.
Through its own internal testing, PepsiCo said consumers considered the new Pepsi Zero Sugar formula to pair better with food, and to be more refreshing and smoother than the previous formula.
Danone sued by environmental groups over its global plastic pollution
16 Jan 2023
A group of environmental groups, led by ClientEarth, is suing Danone for failing to adhere to France’s duty of vigilance law through its use of single-use plastic and pollution.Read more
Asian beverage brands deal with rising costs
4 Jan 2023
Decreasing bottle sizes or increasing prices? Asian beverage brands are finding “creative approaches” to manage rising costs, according to industry analysts.Read more
Value-seeking US consumers cut back on food spending
2 Jan 2023
Cheaper items, smaller sizes, and shorter grocery lists: inflationary effects coupled with a global long-term recession are set to continue shaping food spending habits, according to a recent Rabobank report.Read more
Opportunities grow for lower-caffeine coffee
23 Dec 2022
Many consumers want the mental focus of caffeine without the jitters, prompting a wave of product development such as “half caffeine” ground coffee or ready-to-drink (RTD) cold brew blended with relaxing botanicals.Read more
Superfrau upcycles liquid whey for energy drinks
22 Dec 2022
US company Superfrau turns surplus whey into sustainable, upcycled-certified dairy products for the recovery drinks market.Read more
Swedish food agency: One in 10 coffee brands contain excess acrylamide
7 Dec 2022
New findings from the Swedish Food Agency have revealed three of 29 coffee products sampled contained acrylamide above limits, reinforcing the link between levels and degree of roasting.Read more
Editor’s choice: Our roundup of the latest women’s health products around the world
2 Dec 2022
From botanicals to combat menopause symptoms to a hydration powder for mothers-to-be, here is our roundup of the most innovative new product launches within women’s health.Read more
The prize no brand wants to win: 2022’s most misleading products
28 Nov 2022
Food industry watchdog Foodwatch is asking consumers to vote for 2022’s most misleading product. A high-sugar vitamin water and “artisan” salad made with artificial additives are among the nominees.Read more
enduracarb®: A science-backed trehalose ingredient for athletic endurance
24 Nov 2022
enduracarb® is a science-backed, slow-acting carbohydrate that can power athletes’ performance. Produced using a high-purity production process, it is suitable for a wide variety of applications.Read more
China bans celebrity endorsement of health and formula foods
22 Nov 2022
China is to ban celebrity endorsement or advertising of certain products, completely banning high profile figures with “lapsed morals” as the country attempts to drive society towards “core socialist values”.Read more