July 13 PepsiCo Inc plans to test a new
malt-flavored version of its Mountain Dew soda this summer in
select U.S. cities, the company said on Friday, as it aims to
stand out in a competitive soft-drink market.
Starting in late August, PepsiCo will sell "Mountain Dew
Johnson City Gold" at Kroger Co and 7-Eleven stores in
some cities in the Midwest as well as in Denver, Colorado, and
Charlotte, North Carolina, said PepsiCo spokeswoman Andrea
She said the drink will have a malt flavor with a kick of
lemon-lime. It is named for Johnson City, Tennessee, the
birthplace of the original Mountain Dew citrus-flavored soda.
The planned test was first reported by industry newsletter
Beverage Digest, whose editor, John Sicher, said the product
could be successful since Mountain Dew is already a powerful
"In the declining soft drink business, a new product with a
real point of difference might have potential for growth,"
Sicher told Reuters in an email. "Only time will tell."
PepsiCo's Foote said the new product was more about giving
loyal Mountain Dew drinkers something unique rather than any
large, corporate move into "craft sodas."
Craft, or small-batch, beers have been very popular in the
United States over the last several years, taking market share
from larger domestic brews. Craft distilling has also become
popular, with smaller vodka, whiskey and gin brands gaining
Craft drinks appeal to manufacturers in part because they
usually command higher prices.
Indeed the Mountain Dew Johnson City Gold should sell for
about $1.49 for a 16-ounce can, Foote said, whereas regular
sodas sell for about 99 cents for the same sized package.
Malt-flavored drinks are popular in parts of Latin America
and the Middle East, Foote said, but are still relatively small
in the United States.
PepsiCo shares were up 0.7 percent at $70.36 on the New York
Stock Exchange in early afternoon.