PepsiCo’s Sierra Mist goes ‘artificial-free’

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 19th October 2010

PepsiCo has announced the transformation of its popular US lemon lime soda, Sierra Mist, into a beverage with entirely natural ingredients, Sierra Mist Natural.

PepsiCo has removed preservatives and artificial flavours from the drink, sweetening it with sugar (as opposed to the widely-used high fructose corn syrup or HCFS, an almost ubiquitous sweetener in the US and subject of a number of health-related inquiries).

“New Sierra Mist Natural has been stripped of everything artificial and is naturally sweetened with real sugar so that the crisp, clean taste of lemon-lime shines through,” said Kristina Mangelsdorf, Vice President of Natural and Flavored Sodas at PepsiCo.

“It’s a big, bold innovation that shakes up the world of sodas with its surprisingly authentic simplicity – making Sierra Mist Natural a beverage that’s in line with the times and consumer preference.”

Sierra Mist will now contain only “five simple and natural ingredients”: carbonated water, sugar, citric acid, “natural flavor” and potassium citrate.

Reactions to the new formulation have been mixed, with Sierra Mist’s facebook page divided evenly between fans and critics of the new drink, many applauding the removal of HFCS from the beverage and others complaining of an aftertaste to the new formula.

The reformulation is being supported with a high-profile TV, digital, print, radio and street campaign, featuring the tagline “The soda nature would drink if nature drank soda”.