Pepsi Announces New Mountain Dew Breakfast Drink

"Doing the dew" will soon no longer be a high-octane activity confined to afternoons and evenings. PepsiCo Inc.announced Monday it will be rolling out a Mountain Dew breakfast drink later this month.

Contained in a standard-sized 16-ounce can, the caffeine-infused Kickstart is made with five percent fruit juice and vitamins B and C. The drink will allow Mountain Dew to compete with similar energy drinks already on the market, such as those produced by Monster Beverage Co. and Rockstar Inc.

Starting Feb. 25, Dew-ers will be able to enjoy the new breakfast/energy drink in two flavors: Orange Citrus and Fruit Punch.

"Our consumers told us they are looking for an alternative to traditional morning beverages," said Greg Lyons, Mountain Dew's vice president of marketing. "[O]ne that tastes great, includes real fruit juice and has just the right amount of kick to help them start their days."

In lieu of the 72mg of caffeine in a traditional 16-ounce can of Dew, the 80-calorie Kickstart drink will have 92mg, 50mg less than PepsiCo's own Amp Energy, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. A 16-ounce cup of Starbucks coffee, at the further end of the spectrum, has 330mg of caffeine.

Popular interest in the drink already has been so intense, an offer made earlier on Monday for parties interested in previewing Kickstart was rescinded by PepsiCo along with the apology, "Thank you so much for your interest in MTn Dew Kickstart. We have reached our available quantity and the offer has ended."

PepsiCo does feel that the moniker "energy drink" may not be apt for Kickstart, as "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," according to the Associated Press.

PepsiCo also said that because of Kickstart's five percent fruit juice content, it cannot be classified as a soda (despite being carbonated), "under guidelines set by the Food and Drug Administration."

An FDA spokeswoman, however, said the agency "doesn't have definitions for what qualifies as a soda or an energy drink."

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