On February 25, Mountain Dew hopes to add a new option to your morning choices of coffee and juice: a caffeinated breakfast drink called Kickstart.
It can hardly be called juice — there's just 5 per cent juice in the fruit-flavoured drink — and has roughly the same amount of caffeine as a brewed cup of coffee. But PepsiCo hopes the added vitamin B and C will help it win the breakfast frontier, an area the company hasn't had much traction in.
According to Greg Lyons, vice president of marketing for Mountain Dew, consumers want an alternative to traditional breakfast beverage options.
"Our consumers told us they are looking for an alternative to traditional morning beverages – one that tastes great, includes real fruit juice and has just the right amount of kick to help them start their days," Lyons says.
There's no word yet on Canadian availability, but now that caffeinated Mountain Dew is available here, the odds of Kickstart making its way to Canadian store shelves seem pretty good.
Up until 2010, non-cola carbonated soft drinks in Canada were not permitted to have caffeine added to them.
The drink, offered in "energizing orange citrus" and "energizing fruit punch" flavours, comes in the same 16-ounce can as most popular energy drinks, and, thanks to artificial sweeteners, has about half the calories of a regular soda: 80 calories.
With recently energy-drink scrutiny, Kickstart might be able to position itself as a reasonably safe option for those not wanting to consume an energy drink first thing in the morning, but still want a caffeine jolt.
One can has 92 milligrams of caffeine, more than the amount found in a single can of Red Bull. PepsiCo's energy drink, Amp, has 142 milligrams. A 16-ounce cup of Starbucks coffee has 330 milligrams.
"For a long time before energy drinks, there was Mountain Dew," Jeff Klineman, editor of the BevNet online and print trade publication, tells the Los Angeles Times. "It was the official drink of gamers and truckers before Monster and Rockstar came along."
This isn't the first attempt at marketing soft drinks for breakfast.
This September, Taco Bell introduced The Mountain Dew A.M., a combination of Mountain Dew and Tropicana Orange Juice.
"There was Gatorade A.M. for a while," Klineman says, "and I can remember the campaign for Coke in the morning. The point is that beverage companies are always targeting morning-use occasions."
Watch the video below for some breakfast dos and don'ts.