Does Anyone Really Want a Morning ‘Kickstart’ From Mountain Dew?

PepsiCo banks on a new nutritionless energy drink to slurp up coffee profits.
Feb 11, 2013
Nichol Nelson hails from Minnesota, but has worked in food journalism in New York and Los Angeles for more than a decade. She served as an editor with Gourmet magazine for six years, and has contributed to several other digital and print food publications.

PepsiCo really, really wants you to trade in your morning cup of joe for a cup full of Mountain Dew.

The beverage giant just announced the arrival of Kickstart, a new carbonated juice drink with very little juice and a whole lot of sugar. And really, you have to give PepsiCo credit for perseverance. The soda company has been doggedly pushing the concept of a Mountain Dew breakfast drink to consumers for months.

The first incarnation was in partnership with Taco Bell, a fast-food giant not exactly known for healthy fare. The drink, a blend of Tropicana orange juice and the electric-green soda, was called "Mountain Dew AM." Launched in September of 2011, it was marketed as a "breakfast beverage."

Kickstart has only five percent juice—the rest is all the sugary, caffeinated fizz we've come to expect from Mountain Dew. The company will offer two flavors: "energizing fruit punch" and "energizing orange citrus." The drink does use some artificial sweetener to give it a syrupy jolt—a can is 80 calories, with approximately 92 milligrams of caffeine, reports Fox News.

It's not all that surprising that PepsiCo wants a piece of the coffee market—the business was worth $4.52 billion in the U.S. in 2011, according to Bloomberg News.

But who in their right mind would trade in a calorie-free cup of java for a chemical-leaden soda? Sadly, probably a lot of America. Because that's the thing: These companies know their target audience.

Under what circumstances would you ingest a Mountain Dew Kickstart? Let us know how desperate you'd have to be in the comments. 

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