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The new offering will hit select U.S. cities starting in late August, according to Reuters. Mountain Dew Johnson City Gold will go on sale at Kroger Co. and 7-Eleven stores in some cities in the Midwest as well as in Denver and Charlotte, N.C., PepsiCo spokeswoman Andrea Foote said. The drink is named for Johnson City, Tenn., the birthplace of the original Mountain Dew citrus-flavored soda. The new beverage will have a malt flavor with a kick of lemon-lime, she added.
Foote added that the new product is more about giving loyal Mountain Dew drinkers something unique, rather than any large, corporate move into "craft sodas." Mountain Dew Johnson City Gold should sell for about $1.49 for a 16-ounce can, Foote said, whereas regular sodas sell for about 99 cents for the same sized package.
The planned test was first reported by industry newsletter Beverage Digest, whose editor, John Sicher, said the product could be successful since Mountain Dew is already a powerful brand. "In the declining soft drink business, a new product with a real point of difference might have potential for growth," Sicher told Reuters in an e-mail. "Only time will tell."