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Sierra Mist Essay

PepsiCo (pep) has reintroduced an old ingredient into Sierra Mist, and fans of the drink appear to be pretty unhappy about it.

The stevia that has been used to sweeten the lemon-lime soft drink is now being switched out for high fructose corn syrup, Consumerist reports. This move has elicited big reactions from consumers, many of whom are saying that they will no longer buy the beverage.

PepsiCo originally removed high fructose corn syrup from Sierra Mist in 2010 and replaced it with cane sugar. That allowed the company to market the drink as “natural,” distinguishing it from other soft drinks on the market that are sweetened with corn syrup or artificial sweeteners and gaining the loyalty of customers who perceived it as a healthy alternative. It then modified the recipe to include stevia instead of cane sugar, but since stevia comes from a plant it was able to keep its “natural” label.

Now Sierra Mist is being rebranded as Mist TWST and will be sweetened with high fructose corn syrup again. This is an interesting decision, considering consumers are more concerned about what goes into their bodies today than they were six years ago.

Fans of the drink have taken to social media to express their disappointment:

PepsiCo could not immediately be reached for comment.

TypeLemon-lime soft drink
Country of originUnited States
Introduced1999 (as Sierra Mist)
2016 (as Mist Twst)
Discontinued2016 (as Sierra Mist)
  • Mist Twst
  • Mist Twst Cherry
  • Mist Twst Cranberry
  • Diet Mist Twst
  • Diet Mist Twst Cranberry
Related productsSprite, 7 Up

Mist Twst (pronounced "Mist Twist") is a lemon-lime flavored soft drink. Introduced in 2016, it follows Sierra Mist, a similar lemon-lime soda PepsiCo introduced in 1999 and eventually made available in all United States markets by 2003. Mist Twst and its predecessor Sierra Mist have competed with The Coca-Cola Company's Sprite brand and Dr Pepper Snapple Group's 7 Up.[1]


PepsiCo began test-marketing potential lemon-lime sodas in 1998, introducing a formulation known as Storm that never made it past the test-marketing stage. The company introduced Sierra Mist in 1999.[2] Prior to this, PepsiCo's only lemon-lime soda was in its Slice line of fruit-flavored sodas.[3] 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.[4]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.[1]

At the time of its launch in 1999, Sierra Mist was named after the Sierra Mountains due to high mists in the mountains. 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.[5] 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).[1][6]

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.[7] This name change was reverted to the original name, Diet Sierra Mist, in November 2008.[8] 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.[9] 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.[10]

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.[11] 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.[8][12] 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.[13] Updated logos, bottle labeling and can designs were also implemented at the same time.[14] 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.[15]

On December 18, 2015 Pepsi announced that the name of Sierra Mist would be changing to Mist Twst at an unknown point in spring 2016, in line with Pepsico's sponsorship agreement with the NBA, which replaced Coca-Cola's previous sponsorship and its broad campaign with the league for Sprite.[16] The name change was officially made in late March 2016.[17]


Original formula[edit]

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.[18] Diet Sierra Mist is sweetened with aspartame and acesulfame potassium.[18]

Sierra Mist Natural replacement[edit]

In August 2010 PepsiCo replaced the original Sierra Mist namesake product with Sierra Mist Natural,[12] 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, potassium citrate, and a preservative.[19]

As of 2013, Sierra Mist Natural is now known as simply Sierra Mist, although was still sweetened with real sugar prior to becoming "Mist Twist". Stevia was also used prior to the change.

Mist Twst[edit]

In December 2015, PepsiCo announced that they were changing the name of Sierra Mist to "Mist Twst" in Spring 2016.[16] The change occurred in some areas in March 2016.[17] The new Mist Twst has added high-fructose corn syrup back to the formula.[20]

Promotion and sponsorship[edit]

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.[21] In 2007, Nicole Randall Johnson and Eliza Coupe joined the cast, replacing Debra Wilson and Kathy Griffin.[22]

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.[23]

Sierra Mist was an official partner and sponsor of Major League Soccer and two franchises within the league, the New England Revolution and D.C. United. The league deal ended in 2015 when Coca-Cola announced a partnership with MLS and the US Soccer Federation.[25]

Product variants[edit]


NameDates of productionDescription
Mist Twst2016–presentLemon-lime soda with lemon and lime flavors, with a splash of real juice.
Mist Twst Cherry2016–presentCherry flavored variant of Mist Twst.
Mist Twst Cranberry2016–present
Diet Mist Twst2016–present
Diet Mist Twst Cranberry2016–present
Sierra Mist/Mist Twst (Fountain)2000–presentAs of December 2016, Sierra Mist dispensed via some soda fountains at restaurants and other retail food-service locations remains under the name "Sierra Mist", despite "Mist Twst" being available via other soda fountains. 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.


NameDates of productionDescription
Sierra Mist (HFCS version)1999–2010Lemon-lime soda with lemon and lime flavors. Sierra Mist was replaced by "Sierra Mist Natural" in August 2010, although this variety of Sierra Mist remained stocked at many retailers until late 2010. In 2013, the name would be used again for Sierra Mist (with real sugar).[8]
Diet Sierra Mist2000–2016Lemon-lime soda containing 100-percent natural flavors and zero calories. Diet Sierra Mist contained sucralose and acesulfame potassium as its artificial sweeteners.[7][8]
Sierra Mist Free2004–2008Temporary name of Diet Mist Twst.[7][8]
Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash2006–2016Cranberry 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 later unveiled during the 2014 holiday season everywhere else.[9]
Diet Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash2006–2016A zero-calorie version of Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash made with natural flavors. Diet Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash contains artificial sweeteners.[9]
Sierra Mist Free Cranberry Splash2007Temporary name of Diet Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash.[26][27]
Sierra Mist Lemon Squeeze2007Sierra Mist Lemon Squeeze was introduced in May 2007. This limited edition featured an extra bit of lemon taste and was only available through September 2007.[10]
Sierra Mist Undercover Orange2008Limited-edition orange flavored Sierra Mist released in conjunction with the film Get Smart. Sierra Mist Undercover Orange was only available during the summer of 2008.[28]
Diet Sierra Mist Undercover Orange2008A zero-calorie version of limited-edition Sierra Mist Undercover Orange.[28]
Diet Sierra Mist Ruby Splash2009–2011A zero-calorie Sierra Mist with ruby grapefruit flavors. Diet Sierra Mist Ruby Splash was made with all natural flavors and contained artificial sweeteners.
Sierra Mist (with real sugar)2010–2016Lemon-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. As of 2016, Sierra Mist (with real sugar) remains stocked at some locations alongside Mist Twst.[8]
Sierra Mist Ruby Splash2009–2010Ruby grapefruit flavored Sierra Mist variety, the regular version was discontinued in 2010, but the Diet version remained until 2011.[29]
Sierra Mist Strawberry Kiwi Splash2012A limited-edition Strawberry-Kiwi flavored soft drink made with natural flavors, real sugar and other natural ingredients.

See also[edit]

  • 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.


  1. ^ abcEhrbar, Al (31 October 2005). "Breakaway Brands". CNN Money / Fortune. Retrieved 14 January 2011. 
  2. ^"Excerpt of PepsiCo 2001 Annual Report". PepsiCo, Inc. Archived from the original on 22 December 2010. Retrieved 14 January 2011. 
  3. ^"Lemon-Lime Update: Sierra Mist Grabs Share as Sprite and 7 Up Slide". Beverage Digest. Archived from the original on 17 November 2010. Retrieved 2 December 2010. 
  4. ^Enrico, Roger. The Other Guy Blinked, How Pepsi Won the Cola Wars. Bantam Books, 1986, hc, p. 154.
  5. ^Howard, Theresa. "Off to the Un-Cola Races". Brandweek. Retrieved 2 December 2010. 
  6. ^Cirillo, Jennifer (10 January 2011). "Lemon-Lime Bubbly Goes Au Naturel". Beverage World. Retrieved 14 January 2011. 
  7. ^ abc"Diet Sierra Mist declares freedom". Beverage World. 15 December 2004. Retrieved 14 January 2011. 
  8. ^ abcdefTanner, Steve (24 August 2010). "Review: Sierra Mist Natural". BevReview. Retrieved 14 January 2011. 
  9. ^ abcTanner, Steve (16 September 2010). "Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash (with Real Sugar)". BevReview. Retrieved 14 January 2011. 
  10. ^ abTanner, Steve (24 May 2007). "Sierra Mist Lemon Squeeze". BevReview. Retrieved 14 January 2011. 
  11. ^"Pepsi to redesign core products icon". BevNet. Retrieved 2 December 2010. 
  12. ^ abFredrix, Emily (7 October 2010). "PepsiCo giving away Sierra Mist Natural to show changes". USA Today. Retrieved 14 January 2011. 
  13. ^Morran, Chris (7 September 2010). "Sierra Mist Ditching HFCS For Good, 7Up Getting Reformulated". The Consumerist. Retrieved 14 January 2011. 
  14. ^"Sierra Mist redesign". Brand Packaging. Retrieved 2 December 2010. 
  15. ^"Sierra Mist Changes Design Again, Adds Stevia". 
  16. ^ ab"Sierra Mist Is Changing Its Name and Look -- Again". Retrieved 9 June 2016. 
  17. ^ ab"SPOTTED ON SHELVES: Mist Twst Lemon Lime and Mist Twst Cherry". 29 March 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2016. 
  18. ^ ab"Product Fact Chart: Ingredient Lists". PepsiCo, Inc. 4 January 2011. Retrieved 14 January 2011. 
  19. ^"Pepsi Product Information". PepsiCo. 
  20. ^"MIST TWST". Official Site for PepsiCo Information. PepsiCo Inc. 10 May 2017. Retrieved 28 May 2017. 
  21. ^Furman, Phyllis (10 April 2006). "Mist-Takes made again. New ads for Sierra Mist". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2 December 2010. [permanent dead link]
  22. ^"Sierra Mist Takes Karate Combover and Hospital". 
  23. ^Brodesser-akner, Claude (6 May 2008). "Sierra Mist Looks to 'Get Smart'". Advertising Age. Retrieved 2 December 2010. 
  24. ^"Hat Trick: Coca-Cola, U.S. Soccer Federation and Major League Soccer Announce Partnership". Retrieved 25 August 2017. 
  25. ^Tanner, Steve (9 November 2006). "Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash". BevReview. Retrieved 14 January 2011. 
  26. ^Tanner, Steve (28 August 2007). "Coming Soon: Sierra Mist Free Cranberry Splash". BevReview. Retrieved 14 January 2011. 
  27. ^ abTanner, Steve (18 April 2008). "Review: Sierra Mist Undercover Orange". BevReview. Retrieved 14 January 2011. 
  28. ^Tanner, Steve (30 April 2009). "Sierra Mist Ruby Splash / Diet Sierra Mist Ruby Splash". BevReview. Retrieved 14 January 2011. 

External links[edit]

20-ounce bottles of Sierra Mist Natural (left) and Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash (right)

Sierra Mist packaging (March 2010-August 2010)

Sierra Mist packaging (Aug. 2010-Sep. 2014)

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