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Turns Out, Mountain Dew Kickstart Is a Winner

Turns Out, Mountain Dew Kickstart Is a Winner

That 'morning energy drink' from Mountain Dew raked in $100 million in its first year

Remember that Hi-C punch-tasting "morning energy drink" from Mountain Dew, called Kickstart? Apparently, you're the last person in the world who's not buying it — because Kickstart has been a total win for PepsiCo.

Food Navigator reports that PepsiCo execs revealed that within the year the company released Kickstart, the "flavored sparkling juice beverage made from concentrate" with 92 milligrams of caffeine, has generated more than $100 million in sales. And obviously, the execs are pretty excited about it and may just launch more Kickstart-like drinks to target that ever-popular demographic, the millennials. Oh, and that Kickstart may replace coffee as the millennials' morning beverage of choice (but really, that's a lofty goal — everyone needs coffee). PepsiCo VP Zein Abdalla said at a recent conference in Boston that he could see the "Kickstart Your Day" theme move into "Kickstart Your Night," which we guess could mean relaxation beverages. While Kickstart's numbers mean great things for PepsiCo, there's been no word on just how well that Taco Bell's Mountain Dew "breakfast cocktail" is doing.

In other news, PepsiCo submitted a patent application in June for a Chinese herbal supplement that could relieve fatigue and amp up sports performance without loads of caffeine. As experts note, it may be that PepsiCo is looking to rely a ilttle less on caffeine while energy drinks, and the dangers of caffeine, continue to dominate the headlines.


Mountain Dew

Mountain Dew (stylized as Mtn Dew) is a carbonated soft drink brand produced and owned by PepsiCo. The original formula was invented in 1940 by Tennessee beverage bottlers Barney and Ally Hartman. A revised formula was created by Bill Bridgforth [1] in 1958. The rights to this formula were obtained by the Tip Corporation of Marion, Virginia. [2] William H. "Bill" Jones of the Tip Corporation further refined the formula, launching that version of Mountain Dew in 1961. [3] In August 1964, the Mountain Dew brand and production rights were acquired from Tip by the Pepsi-Cola company, and the distribution expanded across the United States and Canada. [4]

Between the 1940s and 1980s there was only one variety of Mountain Dew, which was citrus-flavored and caffeinated in most markets. Diet Mountain Dew was introduced in 1988, [5] followed by Mountain Dew Red, which was introduced and discontinued in 1988. [6] In 2001, a cherry-flavored variant called Code Red debuted. This product line extension trend has continued to this day, with expansion into specialty, limited time production, region-specific, and retailer-specific (Taco Bell, 7-Eleven, and KFC) variants of Mountain Dew.

Production was extended to the U.K. in 1996, but was phased out in 1998. A similarly named but different-tasting product, with a recipe more similar to the original American product [7] has been sold in the U.K. under the name "Mountain Dew Energy" since 2010 and in Ireland since the spring of 2011. The product was renamed in 2014 to simply 'Mountain Dew'. [ citation needed ] As of 2017, Mountain Dew represented a 6.6% share of the carbonated soft drinks market in the U.S. [8] Its competition includes The Coca-Cola Company's Mello Yello and Surge, and Dr Pepper Snapple Group's Sun Drop Mountain Dew accounts for 80% of citrus soft drinks sold within the U.S. [9]


11 Energizing Facts About Mountain Dew

No matter how many cases of the bright green soda you’ve gulped, you would probably still be surprised to learn about its mountain heritage, early career as a bourbon mixer, and audacious marketing plans.

1. THE GREAT DEPRESSION MADE IT POSSIBLE.

If everything had gone according to plan, Ally and Barney Hartman would never have become linked to everyone’s favorite fluorescent soda. They originally wanted to be orange soda moguls. In 1926, the brothers were part of a group that began bottling Orange Crush in Augusta, Ga. While Orange Crush was a hugely successful soda in those days, the Great Depression hit the Augusta plant particularly hard, leading the business into bankruptcy in 1932. The Hartman brothers then moved to Knoxville, Tenn. to join an Orange Crush franchise there.

2. IT WAS ORIGINALLY A MIXER FOR BOURBON.

While market conditions were rosier in eastern Tennessee, the Hartman brothers had a serious problem with their new home. During their stay in Georgia, they had become fond of a lemon-lime soda called Natural Set-Up, which was the perfect companion for their other favorite beverage, Old Taylor bourbon.

Luckily for the Hartmans, they had a bottling plant at their disposal. According to Dick Bridgforth’s Mountain Dew: The History, the brothers began bottling small runs of a lemon-lime soda for their own use. At first they called it “Personal SetUp,” but it was later dubbed “Mountain Dew,” a joking reference to moonshine. Rather than a commercial drink, the Mountain Dew was a novelty that the Hartmans used to mix drinks for themselves and guests.

3. THE INITIAL LAUNCH OF MOUNTAIN DEW WAS A JOKE.

In Fizz: How Soda Shook Up the World, Tristan Donovan recounts the first launch of Mountain Dew at a 1946 soda convention. As a joke, the Hartman brothers decided to have their friend John Brichetto draw a cartoon label featuring a rifle-toting hillbilly. They then “announced” the launch of the new soda that they had been brewing in stills back home in Tennessee. To their surprise, a bottler from Johnson City, Tenn. asked about the bottling rights for the private soda, and by 1951, the commercial Mountain Dew was ready for store shelves.

4. THE ORIGINAL MOUNTAIN DEW DIDN'T TASTE LIKE TODAY'S VERSION.

If mixing today’s green Mountain Dew into a glass of bourbon sounds gross, you’ll be happy to learn that the Hartmans’ original recipe was much closer to today’s 7UP or Sprite. This version of the soda never truly found a niche in the marketplace, and in 1957, the Marion, Va.-based Tip Corporation bought the Mountain Dew brand from the Hartmans. In 2001, Ally Hartman’s son revealed to the Associated Press that he had turned down the opportunity to buy the brand for $1500 when he was just 19 years old, so his father and uncle sold out to the Tip Corporation instead.

5. THE FLAVOR WE NOW KNOW IS MORE A "CITRUS LEMONADE."

By the early 1960s, Mountain Dew was still struggling to take off. Around the same time, the Johnson City bottling plant that had helped commercialize Mountain Dew was busy formulating an alternative to the popular “citrus fruit beverage” Sun Drop. Once manager Bill Bridgforth had settled on a flavor he liked, he hit on the marketing coup of packaging his “Tri-City Lemonade” in Mountain Dew bottles, a move that would forever change the flavor of Mountain Dew.

6. THE NEW FLAVOR PUT THE BRAND ON PEPSI'S RADAR.

This flavor tweak finally gave Mountain Dew a real shot at competing with larger brands. Thanks to its memorable hillbilly marketing gimmick and its tastier new formulation, Mountain Dew started to grab enough of the regional soft drink market that in 1964 Pepsico acquired the Tip Corporation and Mountain Dew brand with plans to roll the regional favorite out nationally. As Donovan notes in Fizz, hillbillies were having a pop culture moment in the mid-'60s with the success of The Beverly Hillbillies, so Pepsi could even afford to keep the backwoods branding as it expanded Mountain Dew’s territory.

7. PHILADELPHIA'S INTRODUCTION TO MOUNTAIN DEW WAS BRILLIANT.

As Bridgforth writes in Mountain Dew: The History, Philadelphia’s Pepsi bottler sprang Mountain Dew on the city with an incredibly involved hoax and publicity stunt. Just as Mountain Dew was entering the market, the Philadelphia License Commissioner received an odd request from “Herbert Eugene Walton,” who described himself as a hillbilly from Turkeyscratch, Tenn. Bridgforth writes that Herbert wanted “permission to build a series of wooden outhouses on all of the downtown parking lots.”

With the letter setting the stage, an actor playing “Herbert the Hillbilly” rolled into Philly in a red 1929 Model A loaded with jugs and distilling equipment. Herbert slowly drove down Philly’s main drags, causing traffic jams until he eventually reached City Hall. Once at City Hall, he revealed the “reason” for his visit: Overturning a 1911 ordinance that banned outhouses, which could have been useful for distilling delicious Mountain Dew. The actor went on to cause a local sensation by picketing the IRS to ask for a tax license to brew Mountain Dew and setting up a “still” that enabled him to offer pedestrians samples of the Mountain Dew.

8. PEPSI EVENTUALLY RETIRED THE HILLBILLIES.

Backwoods society may have been a winning pop culture formula in the 1960s, but it didn’t do much to move soda. Mountain Dew struggled to find a foothold in the national soda market, where drinkers were apparently skeptical of slogans like “It’ll tickle yore innards!” In 1969, Pepsi sent the entire marketing plan back to Turkeyscratch.

The move turned out to be brilliant. As Donovan notes in Fizz, although Pepsi all but gave up on marketing Mountain Dew, the drink gained steam on its own, with sales increasing by 300 percent leading into 1976. When the brand eventually settled on a marketing strategy in the 1980s and 1990s built on sports and an irreverent personality, it developed into a juggernaut.

9. IT COULD HAVE BEEN EVEN MORE CAFFEINATED.

Mountain Dew’s caffeine content is legendary, and with 55 mg of the compound in every 12-ounce can, it’s over 50 percent more caffeinated than Coca-Cola Classic. At one point during the early formulations of today’s popular version, it was amped up to an even greater degree. Tip Corporation executive Hugh Slagle reminisced to author Bridgforth that one prototype recipe “had so much caffeine in it that when bottled, the caffeine crystallized forming what looked like ‘slivers of ice or glass.’”

10. NOBODY HAS BEEN ABLE TO KNOCK IT OFF OF ITS PERCH.

Since Pepsi began marketing Mountain Dew at active young drinkers, Mountain Dew has soared to a lofty place in the soft drink space to claim the fourth position on the U.S. sales chart behind Coca Cola, Diet Coke, and Pepsi. Coke has made several attempts at dethroning Pepsi’s citrus workhorse, but to no avail. Mello Yello, introduced in 1979 with a $10 million ad campaign that dubbed it “the fastest soft drink in the world” has been reduced to a regional offering. In 1996 Coca-Cola introduced Surge with a Super Bowl ad and a $50 million push, but it washed out of the market by 2003. However, Coke’s not ready to wave the white flag just yet—after a limited 2014 revival on Amazon sold well, Coca-Cola has just reintroduced Surge to store shelves.

11. THE HILLBILLY MARKETING CAN STILL MAKE THE OCCASIONAL APPEARANCE.

Mountain Dew’s flagship soda may no longer be a rural delicacy, but the company made a nod at its mountain heritage earlier this year when it introduced Dewshine, a “throwback” craft soda made with real sugar and packaged in clear glass bottles. If high-end Mountain Dew sounds like a bit of an oxymoron, just know that Pepsi has never been shy about extending the product line—in 2012 it introduced Mountain Dew Kickstart, a variant that you could drink with breakfast.


Pepsi actually contains more sugar than Coke, which clocks in at 39 grams of sugar. This Pepsi offshoot contains 160 calories and 42 grams of sugar. Orange soda generally contains a lot more sugar than regular cola Orange Fanta contains 160 calories and 44 grams of sugar per can.

Pepper contain, more or less, the same ingredients as Coke, but Hunnes points out that they boast 10 more calories and two more grams of carbohydrates (aka, sugar) each.


Mtn Dew® Kickstart™ Hosts NFL Experience Event - Puppy, Monkey And Baby Predict The Carolina Panthers Will Win Super Bowl 50

SAN FRANCISCO , Feb. 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- In an unexpected moment in sports history, a puppy, a monkey and a baby all cast their predictions for the winner of Super Bowl 50. The three awesome visionaries were brought together to tease the much-anticipated arrival of the MTN DEW KICKSTART "Puppymonkeybaby" commercial, which will air in-game during the first quarter of Super Bowl 50.

A crowd gathered to witness this epic event at the Moscone Center in San Francisco . Sports radio personality Mike Greenberg hosted the proceedings. "Today is an amazing day," said Greenberg. "It's rare to see three awesome things come together like this, but today we get to witness a puppy, a monkey and a baby make their predictions for Super Bowl 50. The rest of America will see 'puppymonkeybaby' in action during the first quarter of Sunday's game."

Greenberg was flanked by star NFL wide receiver Brandon Marshall and all-pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald . "I'm pumped to be here on behalf of Mtn Dew Kickstart," said Marshall. "DEW is a combination of three awesome things that really match the energy of the Super Bowl." Donald agreed, saying "I can't think of a bolder moment than watching a puppy, a monkey and a baby make Super Bowl predictions."

The final predictions were:

Monkey: AFC

Fans of the NFL and Mtn Dew will have to watch Super Bowl 50 this weekend to find out which of the predictions turn out to be true.

In conjunction with the release of four new, bold Mtn Dew Kickstart flavors, the "puppymonkeybaby" commercial will debut during Super Bowl 50, marking the first in-game ad for Mtn Dew in more than 15 years. The TV commercial for Mtn Dew Kickstart - a beverage that fuses three awesome things &ndash DEW, real fruit juice and a kick of caffeine &ndash stars a quirky, endearing character that is also comprised of three awesome things fans love in a Super Bowl commercial &ndash a puppy, a monkey and a baby.

About Mountain Dew
Mountain Dew, a product of PepsiCo Americas Beverages, is the No. 1 flavored carbonated soft drink in the U.S. With its one-of-a-kind citrus taste, Mountain Dew exhilarates and quenches with every sip. In addition to original Mountain Dew ® and Diet Mountain Dew ® , the permanent DEW product line includes Mountain Dew Code Red ® , Mountain Dew LiveWire ® , Mountain Dew Throwback ® , Mountain Dew Voltage ® and Mountain Dew White Out ® . For more information, check out www.mountaindew.com, www.facebook.com/mountaindew or follow on Twitter @mountaindew.

About PepsiCo
PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $66 billion in net revenue in 2014, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo's product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.


Is a little Mountain Dew binge ok once in awhile?

Sure if you don’t mind taking a break for some medical attention to tend to your nasty skin lesions, nerve disorders and lack of muscle coordination.

Oh, and the Dew also causes memory loss, so … wait, what was I saying…?

A study reported in the 1997 Journal of Toxicology detailed a case concerning one man’s habit of drinking 2 – 4 liters of bromine-containing soda. This man experienced deterioration to the point of no longer being able to walk and requiring dialysis.

Its called bromine poisoning.

A nasty ingredient called brominated vegetable oil (BVO) is lurking in some soft drinks, baked goods and pasta.

It is found in bleached white flour, Mountain Dew, Fanta Orange , Sunkist Pineapple , Squirt, Fresca, some Gatorade, some Powerade and other citrus-flavored drinks. Gatorade, Powerade and other brands have been removing BVO since I first wrote this article in 2012. Mountain Dew continues to contain Brominated Vegetable Oil.

You can still drink BVO in Ruby Red Squirt like one 63 year old man.

Things did not turn out well for him, as described in the New England Journal of Medicine.

This man reported drinking 8 liters of Ruby Red Squirt for several months. He developed disgusting ulcers on his hands and doctors determined that bromine intoxication caused this terrible condition. The main source of bromine came from drinking Brominated Vegetable Oil in Ruby Red Squirt.


Drink Reaction: Mountain Dew- Dew.S.A

Happy Memorial Day, Rad Blog. If you aren’t from the United States, then happy Monday I guess.

Anyway, Mountain Dew “created” a new drink for the occasion (and probably for 4th of July too) to celebrate patriotism. Today, I’m looking at Dew.S.A which is just a fun way to name a drink after the USA. Why don’t people say the US of A because that’s what it really is. We don’t say “United States America.” No, everyone always add “of” after “States.”

I’m in a nit-picky mood and this drink is perfect to be the victim of my cynicism.

So, what do we have here? Well, the label claims it is “new” but then goes ahead and contradicts itself by saying this drink is created by a mix of three existing drinks. Hey, Mountain Dew, there’s nothing new about taking 3 drinks in mixing it together. I’ve been doing that at McDonald’s for years. Don’t tell me you never went to McDonalds and said “I’m gonna mix this Coke with Sprite.”

Okay, I guess they have some ground to stand upon because my favourite Mountain Dew flavour is just regular Dew with blue Powerade. There’s nothing new about that either.

Okay, okay, you win this round, but can you at least be subtle about it? Just the “new” would be fine I think because this is a new concept in that it isn’t widely known until now.

So, this is Voltage (blue), Code red (red), and White Out (white), to create a patriotic soda. Yeah, nothing says America like a purple drink. I do give them points for the idea, though. It is sort of unique in a way that I haven’t seen a soda do it before. Snapple sort of did this with their patriotic teas I wrote about here, but I haven’t see something like this before sold as an all in one package.

Sure, all three of these are “different” flavours, but they are also all just Mountain Dew at the base. Will it work? Something in me is screaming that it won’t. I don’t care for Code Red usually. Voltage is pretty good. I don’t think I’ve ever had the White Out before. The thing is, Code Red is like cherry flavoured, Voltage has a sort of citrus taste, and isn’t White Out just more citrus? Two citrus drinks and cherry? I don’t know how that will work.

Whatever the case, I don’t think those three flavours equal purple. Seriously, Mountain Dew. You wanna make a patriotic drink like this? Why purple?

You wanna know my suggestion? It might be more work than just pressing the Code Red, Voltage, and White Out button all into one batch of bottles, but I think they should have really taken the idea and ran with it by creating a line of red, white, and blue based drinks. Have this idea of all three Mountain Dew flavours, but colour them to be just red, white, and blue. Will it confuse others? Maybe, but that’s their fault for not reading a label. Seriously, people. Read your labels. If you don’t like that idea, just make it clear.

So, I got that silly bit out of the way. Let’s talk about what I expect from this bubbly American delight. Like I said, I have no idea how these three flavours will work together. It just doesn’t seem like it should. They are all distinctive, especially Code Red. Citrus and cherry. I’m trying to think of how that could work. I asked the Queen and she thought about it for a second and shook her head. No. It just doesn’t sound like it should work. The concept, though, is cool.

Anything else on this bottle before I drink it?

Not really. The cap does say something though. It says “Red, White, and Dew.” I guess that’s where my co-worker friend got the idea from when he suggested this to me. Red, White, and Dew would have been a better name to me. I can search that easily online. Dew.S.A is a bit harder with the punctuation.

Well, let’s look at the ingredients and nutrition facts.

170 calories. 0g total fat. 105 mg sodium. 45g total carbs. 45g sugars. 0g protein.

Well, I guess it is a little more complicated than just pouring all three Mountain Dews together. Maybe they actually measure it out so Code Red doesn’t take over the taste. I guess that’s fitting since you know, the Red Scare and all was something that happened in the past.

Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, natural flavor, sodium benzoate, caffeine, gum arabic, sodium citrate, citrus pectin, ascsulfame potassium, sucralose, calcium disodium edta, glycerol ester of rosin, sucrose acetate isobutyrate, red 40, panax ginseng root extract, blue 1, caramel color.

RED 40 CHAS RAD APPROVED! KIDS OFF THE WALL!

They certainly will be too when you give this drink to them while you’re out talking to Meghan and Ben instead of watching your kids as they terrorize the boardwalk.

Caramel colour, eh? Okay then. Not exactly white is it? More like Red, blue, and brown.

Scent-wise, it smells a lot like Voltage actually. I get a whiff of citrus as soon as I smelled it. It is actually pretty pleasing. Yeah, this smells just like Voltage. I get the whole raspberry essence from it.

Well, they weren’t really lying. It is all three Dews together. I wasn’t expecting them to layer it though. Somehow they did.

So, first sip is a very citrus-like taste, which I’m guessing is from White Out since it didn’t have the tartness of Voltage. It is also kind of sweet, but not like a fruity sweet. It is more of a sugar sweetness rather than a nice fruity taste you’d get from pineapple. Then it kind of hands off the citrus taste to Voltage, but it goes away fairly quickly because the tartness of the raspberry takes over. The citrus taste is still around, but it is more in the back of mouth than anything. The Voltage sits for a while to the end where Code Red takes over in the aftertaste. At first I thought it was just the crap sucralose that made the aftertaste a bit off, but it is actually the sucralose and the Code Red taking turns making it odd for me. I don’t really like the aftertaste at all, but I can’t stop drinking it. You know it is like one of those things that are just so bad that you gotta have more? It is like that with this aftertaste. I want it to linger, but the manufactured taste of sucralose and the mix of fake cherry just taste so bad. It even gives that cough medicine feel to the back of my throat too. Like, what?

Overall, this drink sort of works. If you are a big fan of Mountain Dew, then you’ll probably like how well this is layered. I am actually really surprised it is layered instead of muddied together. Good on you for that, Mountain Dew. Really. I’m actually pretty impressed it has a transition effect.

Sadly for them, the Code Red kind of holds it back for me. I don’t like the feel it gives at the end. I’d gladly go with a White and Blue version of this drink where they just dye the drink red and mix White Out with Voltage.

Maybe it has that odd feel in the back of my mouth because the tartness of raspberry and cherry are creating some sort of super mutant cough medicine feel.

I’ll give this a rained out 3 day weekend out of Rad. Sure, you’re off of work, but there’s nothing to do.

Enjoy the last bit of your weekend and remember those who died for the country while you’re out enjoying the sun.


Launch and Failure

When I picture design thinking, I think about rapid prototyping and testing. Is that part of what you’re trying to do?

Not so much in the U.S., but China and Japan are lead horses for that process—test, prove, launch. If you launch quickly, you have more failures, but that’s OK because the cost of failure in those markets is low. In the U.S., we tend to follow very organized processes and then launch. The China-Japan model may have to come to the U.S. at some point.

Isn’t this model already established in the U.S., or at least in Silicon Valley?

Lots of small companies take this approach, and for them the cost of failure is acceptable. We’re more cautious, especially when playing with big brands. Line extensions are fine: If you launch a flavor of Doritos that doesn’t work, you just pull it. But if you launch a new product, you want to make sure you’ve tested it enough. In Japan, we launch a new version of Pepsi every three months—green, pink, blue. We just launched cucumber-flavored Pepsi. In three months it either works or we pull it and go to the next product.

Is your design approach giving Pepsi competitive advantage?

We have to do two things as a company: Keep our top line growing in the mid single digits, and grow our bottom line faster than the top. Line extensions keep the base growing. And then we’re always looking for hero products—the two or three big products that will drive the top line significantly in a particular country or segment. Mountain Dew Kickstart is one of those. It’s a completely different product: higher juice content, fewer calories, new flavors. We thought about this innovation differently. In the past we just would have created new flavors of Mountain Dew. But Kickstart comes in a slim can and doesn’t look or taste like the old Mountain Dew. It’s bringing new users into the franchise: women who say, “Hey, this is an 80 calorie product with juice in a package I can walk around with.” It has generated more than $200 million in two years, which in our business is hard to do.

Is this an example of design thinking, or just part of the innovation process?

There’s a fine line between innovation and design. Ideally, design leads to innovation and innovation demands design. We’re just getting started. Innovation accounted for 9% of our net revenue last year. I’d like to raise that to the mid teens, because I think the marketplace is getting more creative. To get there, we’ll have to be willing to tolerate more failure and shorter cycles of adaptation.

“Now our teams are pushing design through the entire system.”

Do you feel that companies have to reinvent themselves every few years, that competitive advantage is fleeting?

No question about it. It’s been a long time since you could talk about sustainable competitive advantage. The cycles are shortened. The rule used to be that you’d reinvent yourself once every seven to 10 years. Now it’s every two to three years. There’s constant reinvention: how you do business, how you deal with the customer.


Managing Change

How do you bring everyone in the company along with what sounds like a dramatic change in approach?

The most important thing was finding the right person in Mauro. Our beverage people immediately embraced how he could help us think about product design and development. Then retailers fell in love with him and started inviting him to their shops to talk about how to reset their shelves. Mauro’s team grew from about 10 people to almost 50, and we set him up in Soho in New York City. Now our products look like they’re tailored to the right cohort groups, and our packaging looks pretty damn good, too.

How do you push the culture change throughout the company?

In the past, being decentralized was our strength, but also our weakness. It’s a fine approach when the whole world is growing and life is peachy. But it doesn’t work when things are volatile globally and you need coordination. We’ve given our people 24 to 36 months to adapt. I told everyone that if they don’t change, I’d be happy to attend their retirement parties.

How do you measure whether or not people are making it?

We watch how they act in our global meetings and whether they include design early in the process. We see how much innovation, influenced by design, is being put into the market. We maintain an aggressive productivity program to take costs out and free up resources. You have to squeeze as much as you can out of every dollar, and we watch how many costs are coming out.


New Mountain Dew Kickstart Review: Soda or Juice Beverage or Energy Drink?

I was never a fan of Mountain Dew until they came out with Code Red. It was sugary, cherry-flavored, and didn’t taste like lime Seltzer. Now they have Kickstart: a new energy drink/soda/“flavored sparkling juice beverage from concentrate with other natural flavors.” What is that? Does anyone even know what category that is even in? So it can’t possibly be juice but it’s not an energy drink yet it can’t be soda either? Who decided that was great packaging?

My opinion is that Kickstart is definitely soda with extra energy. I wouldn’t say it’s an energy drink because it doesn’t have all those extra chemicals, just caffeine, and it doesn’t taste like rocket fuel. It didn’t make me feel any more energized and it gave me a headache about an hour later. It does have 19 grams of sugar, 5% juice, and electrolytes (“for taste”…what does that mean?). Let’s just say there’s lots of confusing and strange language on the packaging.

When Googling around, I saw that one of the most common searches was “Mountain Dew Kickstart Caffeine Amount,” and I can see why. There’s no information on the package and from the headache I got after drinking it, it must be a lot. I felt slightly more awake within the first few minutes of it but then it completely wore off about 20 minutes later. I wouldn’t use this as a jolt awake by any means.

I ended up buying the only two flavors at the store, Black Cherry and Fruit Punch both had ENERGIZING in front of their titles (feel like that’s a bit of false advertising). They were hidden away in two little rows far from the other Mountain Dew products and I had to search really hard to find them. If you decide to pick these up, you’ll most likely be searching for awhile.

With taste, I’d say you’re better off just getting the regular soda. The Fruit Punch flavor tastes a lot like Code Red except not as good and the Black Cherry is watered-down and tastes nothing like black cherry. The sugary-ness of the Fruit Punch ruined any of the good flavoring in there while the Black Cherry could have used a dose of flavor. If you’re going to pick one up, I’d pick up the Fruit Punch and avoid the Black Cherry, but again, I’d probably just skip these altogether and get the real thing.

I think the major problem with Kickstart is that is doesn’t know what it is. If you don’t know who you are, how can you be anything? Sparkling juice? With caffeine? What is that? I think they should try to pick a category and then design a drink for that specific category. Who’s the target market for this product? It’s not energy drink junkies, definitely not health nuts, certainly not hardcore, or softcore soda lovers, it’s just there…on the market. Nobody will buy it for a boost of energy, nobody will buy it for a sugar fix, and nobody will buy it as a soda alternative. It doesn’t really taste like any category and there’s way too much carbonation, I think, to even call it “sparkling.” I’ll be shocked to see these drinks jump off the shelves any time soon.

Serious recommendation: Buy the real thing, don’t cheat yourself stick to the classic. Regular and diet Mountain Dew, Code Red, Voltage, Live Wire.


Watch the video: All-Access: 2018 Mtn Dew Kickstart Rising Stars (November 2021).