The drink, called New Mountain Dew, will be launched by PepsiCo and its UK bottling partner Britvic in a bid to capitalise on the sales boom in energy and glucose drinks, and will be available in c-stores and forecourts from May ahead of a wider roll-out to the multiples next year.
This is the second time Mountain Dew has appeared in Britain. Its first UK roll-out in 1996 lasted just two years before the brand was pulled.
While the US Mountain Dew features more than a dozen flavours, the British version will comprise only a citrus flavour in a 500ml PET bottle. PepsiCo describes the US version as a fruit carbonate drink, and the recipe will be altered for the UK market to position it as a glucose stimulant, although the brand logo will remain "broadly" the same as the US original.
"This launch will revolutionise the British energy drinks industry," predicted Britvic marketing director Simon Russell. "It's the number two selling soft drink in convenience and impulse in the US [behind Coca-Cola] and more than 10,000 people have petitioned for its UK launch."
Stewart said the drink had "a cult-like status" among younger, video-gaming consumers, through social and digital media activity. While marketing support would be relatively low key, online activity would be designed to appeal to the core gaming community.
Britvic announced the news this week during the launch of its annual Soft Drinks Report, which revealed that sales of glucose and stimulant drinks had increased 7% in value to £567m over the past year, with volumes up 7% [Nielsen MAT 26 December 2009]. Growth was driven by Relentless and Monster, as well as a 12% increase in distribution year-on-year, and a 20% uplift in promotional support. Overall sales of soft drinks in the take-home channel grew 2% by value to £6.2bn and 1% in volume.