While a lot of hype has been placed on PepsiCo’s Mountain Dew Dark Berry flavor this summer, Sierra Mist has a limited time offering as well… Sierra Mist Natural Strawberry Kiwi Splash. As noted in our preview story, it should be available through August, and is also available in a diet version.
This product borrows the “Splash” naming convention the brand has used for 6 years on Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash, as well as on the short-lived Sierra Mist Ruby Splash in 2009. Mist has had some other limited flavors as well, including Lemon Squeeze (2007) and Undercover Orange (2008).
Like Sierra Mist, lemon lime-competitor 7Up hasn’t been afraid of a couple flavor extensions, including Cherry 7Up (though now more disgusting “with Antioxidants“), Pomegranate 7Up, and Mixed Berry 7Up. Missing from the fray, however, is Sprite, which hasn’t offered flavors since its trilogy of “Remix” flavors – Tropical (2003), Berryclear (2004), and Aruba Jam (2005).
Aside from recent editions of Cranberry Splash, Strawberry Kiwi Splash is the only other extension to feature “real sugar” as part of its ingredient list. Historically, PepsiCo has indicated that this is a combination of cane and beet sugar.
The package design is very similar in style as the 2011 version of Cranberry Splash. Red towards the top of the label, white in the middle, green at the bottom, with images of kiwis, limes, lemons, and strawberries scattered throughout. That said, if you weren’t specifically looking for Strawberry Kiwi, it might be rather hard to find, as the design doesn’t really stand out from other Sierra Mist products very well. It doesn’t help that it’s the same color beverage as standard Sierra Mist, with a transparent lemon lime hue. The label is very cluttered with text.
This flavor is available in 20 oz plastic bottles, as well as in 12-packs of 12 oz cans and 2-liter bottles. We popped the cap off our bottle and noted that the familiar Sierra Mist scent was there, with just a hint of strawberry perfume-like scent added. (My sister had a bottle of Strawberry Shortcake perfume when we were kids, so it reminded me of that!)
As for the taste, it’s quite sweet! The lemon lime flavor profile of Sierra Mist is still the primary base that encounters your taste buds. However, the front end of the flavor is led by a bubbly strawberry taste. It’s not overpowering or strong, but it’s just enough to tint the flavor that direction. As the drink proceeds to the back of your mouth, the kiwi flavor punches out. This is then followed by the traditional Natural aftertaste, which I know has its detractors, but it works rather well here with the kiwi.
Overall, Strawberry Kiwi Splash is a safe flavor extension. The flavors chosen are quite popular in other drinks, and they fit will with the lemon lime base. As a limited time offering, it has its place as a summer flavor with something different, but I can’t see it being distinct enough to be offered year-round. The short-term thing works really well around the holidays for Cranberry Splash, so why mess with a process that seems to work with the marketplace?
I’m not in love with Sierra Mist Natural Strawberry Kiwi Splash. It’s definitely not my favorite extension (Cranberry Splash owns that role). I’m not the biggest of strawberry/kiwi fans, so that probably factors into my thoughts. Still, it’s a fun special edition that’s worth a taste if you find it this summer.
Sierra Mist Natural Strawberry Kiwi Splash
Carbonated water, sugar, citric acid, natural flavor, potassium citrate
A 20 oz bottle contains 240 calories, 55 mg sodium, and 62 g carbs (62 g sugars). Caffeine free.