A new Mountain Dew breakfast drink called Kickstart
is hitting the market this month. The beverage contains five percent juice, caffeine, and vitamins B and C.
PepsiCo, the maker of Mountain Dew, does not classify the beverage as an energy drink. However, the marketing of Kickstart may provide the company with a way into the energy drink market, minus the controversies
associated with these beverages.
Flavors include "energizing fruit punch" and "energizing orange citrus," and the packaging is a 16-ounce can similar to that used by the Monster Beverage Corp. for their energy drinks. The television commercial for Kickstart is also similar to advertising themes used by energy drink makers — featuring skateboarding youth.
“Kickstart combines the best of all worlds — it tastes great, has just the right amount of real fruit juice and gives them a kick to help them start their day,” said Mountain Dew
rep Eliza Baker.
The breakfast beverage contains 92 milligrams of caffeine per can, approximately the same as a cup of coffee — but 20 milligrams more than the same amount of Mountain Dew. Kickstart is sweetened artificially and contains 80 calories — about half the amount of calories found in a regular soft drink.
PepsiCo's chief marketing officer for American beverages
, Simon Lowden, says the drink was inspired by a breakfast drink combining Mountain Dew and orange juice made popular by Taco Bell.
Lowden also points to the gap in the market for an alternative to morning beverages like tea and coffee for Mountain Dew drinkers.
“They didn’t really see anything that fit their needs,” Lowden said.
While not classified as an energy drink, Lowden said Kickstart is not considered a soft drink (despite caffeine and carbonation) because of its five percent juice content. Under FDA guidelines, this qualifies it to be a "juice drink."
Kickstart will be available in stores starting Feb. 25. On Monday morning, Mountain Dew offered a free can to consumers via kickstartfirsttaste.com
but by Monday afternoon the beverage was out of stock and the offer removed.