PepsiCo, Inc. is looking to give consumers who are not into morning coffee or (hot) tea new wake up call with its new Mountain Dew flavored power drink “Kickstart.”
The drink, which comes in 16 oz cans is said to contain 5% fruit juice, along with vitamins B & C, as well as a “jolt of caffeine,” is also designed to give the Company an inside door into the fast growing energy drink market, without the legal entanglements being faced by such competitors as Red Bull and Monster since it contains none of the “mysterious ingredients” which have caused concerns among lawmakers and consumer advocated, and far less caffeine.*
It has been noted that many of the so-called energy drinks have been found to contain the equivalent amount of caffeine normally found in 14 cans of soda. For instance a normal 12 oz. can of Mountain Dew contains 54 mg of caffeine per serving, while Pepsi has 38 mg., Coke Classic has 34.5 mg. And Dr. Pepper has 41 mg. Of caffeine same-sized servings.
In fact, Simon Lowden, chief marketing officer for PepsiCo’s American beverages denies that Kickstart is an energy drink, although it is an “energizing way to start the day,” and says that the product came about after consumer research showed that “Mountain Dew fans were looking for an alternative to traditional morning beverages.”
“They didn’t really see anything that fit their needs,” he reported.
Lowden also told reporters that Kickstart uses only artificial sweetners as a nod to growing health concerns over sugary soft drinks, and contains only 80 calories per can.
*While US poison centers have only recently begun tracking toxicity of energy drinks (now said to be consumerd regularly by 30% to 50% of children, adolescents, and young adults), health officials in Australia, New Zealand, and Germany have reported numerous adverse outcomes associated with energy drink consumption. These include respiratory disorders, agitation, confusion, seizures, psychotic conditions, nausea, vomiting, liver damage, kidney failure, abdominal pain, rhabdomylosis, tachycardia, cardiac dysrhythmias, hypertension, myocardial infarction, heart failure, and death.