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Pepsico Inc. is introducing Pepsi Twist -- a cola with an added twist of lemon flavor -- in about one-third of the United States starting next week.
The drink, similar to one that was tested in Minnesota and Texas last summer, will be available particularly in central U.S. states, as early as next Monday.
"Consumers have been telling us they're looking for something extra in their soft drink options," said Dave Burwick, vice president of carbonated brands for Pepsi-Cola North America, a division of Pepsico.
The drink, which comes in regular and diet versions, is being launched near the start of the summer selling season -- a key time for soft drink makers. The lemon flavoring does not add any nutritional value or calories.
Pepsi and its top rival, Coca-Cola Co., have been expanding their noncarbonated drink lineups in recent months to hold onto consumers who are shifting away from carbonated soft drinks toward new-age and health-related drinks, according to Reuters.
Pepsi also recently launched a flavor extension of its popular Mountain Dew carbonated soft drink, Mountain Dew Code Red and has expanded marketing behind Wild Cherry Pepsi, a cherry-flavored version of regular Pepsi.
To support the new products, Pepsi is launching television, radio and point-of-purchase advertisements where the drink will be available. Pepsi Twist, which will be sold in convenience stores and gas stations, will be available in multipacks of cans, 2 liter bottles and 20-ounce bottles. The beverage will be available year-round in some markets, and limited time in other markets.