Introducing Kickstart: Mountain Dew's New Morning 'Juice' In A Can

Mountain Dew has a new drink, Kickstart, for the morning's when coffee, tea, and hyper-energy drinks just won't do it (dew it?).

Coffee and tea have pretty much ruled the morning drink world -- or the post-sleep world -- for a few centuries as the sure-fire pick-me-upper to get one's day started. But for a couple of generations of people that have found soda an increasing part of their lives or those that simply cannot abide by tea and coffee as morning drinks, PepsiCo and Mountain Dew have concocted a drink geared just for their niche. It's even got a Mountain Dew-ish intensified name that has become synonymous with the brand: Kickstart.

And Kickstart isn't just some sodafied, revved-up version of an energy drink, either. Not according to PepsiCo, which describes the new product as a sparkling juice beverage. It still has that intense Mountain Dew taste that Dew-heads are familiar with, and although it comes in flavors promoting "energy" (like "energizing orange citrus" and "energizing fruit punch"), it has far less caffeine than most energy drinks, not to mention a lower sugar content.

Greg Lyons, Vice President, Marketing, Mountain Dew, said in a press release: "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. We heard them loud and clear and created a completely new offering with Kickstart to give them exactly what they asked for."

But it does have extra caffeine for, you know, that "kickstart" a person needs to get going in the morning. According to a report from Associated Press, it contains 92 milligrams of caffeine, almost half of most energy drinks. (According to EnergyFiend.com, most Monster 16-ounce energy drinks contain at least 160 mg of caffeine.) That's just a a little more than regular Mountain Dew (72 mg per 16 ounces).

When compared to coffee and tea, Kickstart also has far less caffeine. A regular cup (16 oz.) of coffee (drip) contains 290 mg of caffeine. Instant is a bit less: 114 mg. A regular 16-oz. cup of tea (brewed) contains 94 mg. of caffeine. (Imported teas are higher in caffeine content.) Instant tea: 52 mg. Green tea: 50 mg.

Kickstart also makes a grab for the more health-conscious as well. It is 5 percent fruit juice. To add more healthy enticements, it's fortified with vitamins B and C. With artificial sweeteners, the drinks also offer fewer calories: 80. (A comparable amount of Monster: 200 calories, according to Screaming Energy.)

So, you see, Kickstart isn't just an "energy" drink. It's a soda slash juice drink as well. A more healthy alternative. "Sparkling," as it were.

Why Mountain Dew? Why not? Mountain Dew is the top-selling flavored soda (non-cola) in the U.S.

The new product will be competing in a market that has been developing for a few years, one that shies away from the hyped-up energy drinks like Monster and Red Bull but one where there is a need for a drink that still provides something of a morning (or wake-up) boost. And like Monster, which has rolled out its own line of juiced energy drinks, it will sell in 16-ounce cans.

Consumers can expect to find Kickstart on store shelves on Feb. 25.

Kickstart: It's what's for breakfast (or for whenever you crawl out of bed). You know, the choice of the X box, X games, ex-traditional morning drink generation.

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For those who want to get a jump on the market, go to www.kickstartfirsttaste.com and request a can of Kickstart. While there, consumers can also upload a photo of themselves and a Kickstart as they begin their day. Some will be chosen for inclusion in a promotional video.

(photo credit: Mountain Dew Kickstart, PepsiCo)

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