The junk food gods giveth, and the junk food gods taketh away. After we experienced a bunch of previously discontinued items make triumphant returns in 2022 and early 2023, we’ve got a big goodbye coming. After more than 20 years, Sierra Mist has officially been discontinued. In its place, PepsiCo has unveiled a new lemon-lime soda called Starry.
So is Sierra Mist totally gone from shelves? When will it actually disappear? What’s the story with Starry soda? And is there already a resale market for soon-to-be-extinct Sierra Mist cans and bottles?
Here’s what you need to know:
Sierra Mist is phasing out; Starry is phasing in.
PepsiCo says there’s an increased demand for lemon-lime sodas, and their solution is to scrap their existing Sierra Mist soda and replace it with a new variant called Starry.
Sierra Mist sales have historically lagged far behind lemon-lime leader Sprite (owned by Coca-Cola), so PepsiCo went back to the drawing board. In the official press release about Starry, the “sweetness” of the drink is emphasized, so expect a more sugary taste than Sierra Mist.
Grocery stores’ supplies of Sierra Mist are dwindling, as PepsiCo has stopped shipping them. A single Google Shopping search reveals just a few stores selling Sierra Mist, while there are many more Starry products available locally.
Starry comes in regular and zero-calorie varieties.
The biggest change between Sierra Mist and Starry is what makes them sweet. Sierra Mist’s ingredients include sugar, while Starry has replaced that with high fructose corn syrup — controversial to some. The rest of the ingredients seem to be identical between the sodas.
There’s also an aspartame-sweetened “zero calorie” version of Starry that looks to capitalize on the success of Sprite Zero Sugar and similar drinks.
Starry comes in 12- and 15-packs of 12-ounce cans, 20-ounce bottles, 2-liter bottles, 6-packs of 16.9-ounce bottles, and 6- and 10-packs of 7.5-ounce cans.
Starry is coming out of the gate with coupons — so you can get it for cheap (or even free).
Look for Starry to try to introduce themselves with lots of promotions that’ll get you the drink for free or cheap — like the one at Publix that started Jan. 12.
You can get a free 20-ounce bottle of Starry with coupon in the Publix app through Feb. 25, 2023. They regularly cost $2.19. Need more of the 20-ounce bottles? Albertsons is offering them for $1.99 each when you buy two with a coupon in their app through the end of February 2023.
And a 12-pack of Starry cans costs $6.99 each (regularly $8.49) when you buy three (through the end of March 2023) with digital app coupon at Albertsons.
Missing Sierra Mist already? You can still get your hands on some (for now).
Sierra Mist hasn’t sent any tweets from their official Twitter account in nearly a year, but they’re responding to customers who are sad about their drink being discontinued. After the Starry announcement — in response to questions about Sierra Mist being discontinued — the @sierramist account has said that while “availability may vary,” the product locator will help people find Sierra Mist in stores.
In Boise, Idaho, for example, only Albertsons still carried Sierra Mist as of Jan. 13 — 12-packs of cans and 2-liter bottles. That said, don’t expect inventory to reappear; what’s on the shelves is most likely what’s left of Sierra Mist.
If you’re in the mood to buy up all your store’s remaining Sierra Mist, there are some Pepsi coupons that’ll make your stock-up much cheaper. For example, we have a $2 off 2 coupon for 12-packs of Sierra Mist (or any Pepsi product) — making them cheaper than the aforementioned coupon for Starry 12-packs.
Also: Sellers on eBay are already trying to cash in on the announcement; 2-liter bottles for Sierra Mist have list prices between $5.49 and $99.99, with most listings hovering around $10 per bottle.