Mountain Dew Releases New ‘Morning’ Drink Meant To Replace Coffee

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Pepsico launched a new energy drink, Mtn Dew Rise Energy, in partnership with LeBron James, according to a press release published Wednesday.

“LeBron is the epitome of motivation and has achieved legendary status by seizing every morning,” said Fabiola Torres, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of Pepsico’s Energy Category. “He not only continues to excel on and off the court but has dedicated his life to help others rise as well.”

Although Pepsico’s core consumers prioritize sugar and caffeine over taste in their energy drinks, an untapped market of energy drink enthusiasts wants “pleasant taste and health benefits,” Fabiola told Fast Company. (RELATED: ‘It’s A Beer You Should Drink After You Run’: Brewers Adding Electrolytes Into Their Brews)

Mtn Dew Rise Energy has about 180 milligrams of caffeine – the equivalent of two cups of coffee – and vitamins A and C, antioxidants, fruit juice, zinc for immune support and Citicoline, Pepsico said in the press release. Rise is the first energy drink to have Citicoline, a supplement given to people who have Alzheimer’s disease and who need help with mental clarity, Fast Company reported. The 25-calorie drink sells at $2.59 per 16-oz can and has no added sugar, according to the press release.

“We identified from the moment you get up to until you chill out and wind down, there are six occasions when your body needs energy,” Torres said to Fast Company. “We’re very strategic about how we go after those occasions with the right product.”

Millennials and Gen Zers have increasingly been replacing coffee with energy drinks during certain periods of the day, Torres said.

Mtn Dew Rise Energy comes in six flavors: Pomegranate Blue Burst, Orange Breeze, Strawberry Melon Spark, Tropical Sunrise, Berry Blitz, and Peach Mango Dawn. The energy drink features a lion as the brand icon.

“The majority of [market] volume we see coming is flavor-forward, nutrient [dense] – something better for their body without sacrificing the flavor,” Torres said to Fast Company. “This is where the formula landed.”

In addition to Lebron James, Mtn Dew Rise will partner with influencers at South by Southwest, where they will hold virtual morning workouts for festival attendees, according to the press release.

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