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NEW YORK -- PepsiCo Inc. is bringing Mountain Dew to the breakfast market with this month's launch of Kickstart, a carbonated beverage with Mountain Dew flavor that provides 5-percent juice, Vitamins B and C, and an "extra jolt" of caffeine, reported the Associated Press.
The company does not consider Kickstart an energy drink, as it has much less caffeine that beverages such as Red Bull and Monster. However, it does come in 16-ounce cans, similar to energy drinks, and its TV ad features skateboarders, another target of energy drink manufacturers.
Flavors include "energizing orange citrus" and "energizing fruit punch," according to the report. Instead of sugar, Kickstart contains artificial sweeteners to keep its calorie count low at 80 calories per can.
Kickstart was developed after consumer research showed that Mountain Dew fans wanted an alternative to traditional morning drinks like coffee, tea and juice, Simon Lowden, chief marketing officer for PepsiCo's Americas beverages, told the news outlet. "They didn't really see anything that fit their needs," Lowden stated. He also noted that although Kickstart is carbonated, it is not a soda; its 5-percent juice content qualifies it as a "juice drink" under Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines.
Although the FDA does not have a definition for what qualifies as a soda or energy drink, according to a spokeswoman, Kickstart contains only 92 milligrams of caffeine, compared to 72 milligrams in a 16-ounce regular Mountain Dew, or 142 milligrams in a can of PepsiCo's Amp energy drink. A 16-ounce cup of Starbucks coffee contains 330 milligrams of caffeine.