PepsiCo launches Kickstart morning drink

Actor Norbert Torok rehearses in Los Angeles for

Actor Norbert Torok rehearses in Los Angeles for the filming of a commercial for a new PepsiCo product called Kickstart, a Mountain Dew-flavored drink with 5 percent juice and an extra jolt of caffeine and vitamins B and C. (Jan. 29, 2013) (Credit: AP)

If you don't like coffee or tea, Mountain Dew has a new breakfast drink that might perk you up.

PepsiCo Inc. is rolling out a new drink called Kickstart this month that has Mountain Dew flavor but is made with 5 percent juice and Vitamins B and C, along with an extra jolt of caffeine.

The company, based in Purchase, is hoping to boost sales by reaching Mountain Dew fans at a new time of day -- morning.

PepsiCo said it doesn't consider Kickstart to be an energy drink, noting it still has far less caffeine than drinks like Monster and Red Bull and none of the mysterious ingredients that have raised concerns among lawmakers and consumer advocates.

But Kickstart, which comes in flavors such as "energizing orange citrus" and "energizing fruit punch," could nevertheless give the company a side door into the fast-growing energy drink market without getting tangled in any of its controversies.

It also comes in the same 16-ounce cans as popular energy drinks made by Monster Beverage Corp., which also offers options with juice content.

Simon Lowden, chief marketing officer for PepsiCo's Americas beverages, says the idea for Kickstart came about after the company learned through consumer research that Mountain Dew fans were looking for an alternative to traditional morning drinks such as coffee, tea and juice.

"They didn't really see anything that fit their needs," he said.

In a nod to the growing concerns about sugary drinks, Kickstart also uses artificial sweeteners to reduce its caloric content to about half that of regular soda; a can has 80 calories. -- AP

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Newsday on social media

@Newsday

advertisement | advertise on newsday