Sierra Mist reformulates again, ditches Stevia for HFCS


Sierra Mist, what happened to you? I used to really enjoy drinking Sierra Mist soda. When Sierra Mist made the switch from high-fructose corn syrup to natural sugar, we often bought it, as we prefer sugar-sweetened soda.

Then, in early 2015, Sierra Mist changed its formula to a Stevia-based sweetener. This angered Sierra Mist fans, as Stevia has a bitter aftertaste to many people, and it dramatically changed the flavor of the beverage. Sierra Mist’s Facebook page erupted with complaints, and our family stopped buying the product completely after the switch.

Perhaps other people felt the same way, because Sierra Mist is undergoing a rebrand and yet another formula change. It’s now known as Mist Twst and is fully sweetened with HFCS again. From Consumerist:

 We’ve previously shared customer outrage when this happened to Seagram’s ginger ale and Sierra Mist, when companies sneaked in small amounts of sucralose (Splenda) and of stevia respectively. Now Sierra Mist maker PepsiCo has changed things up again, rebranding Sierra Mist as Mist TWST, and switching the sweetener out for high fructose corn syrup.

Readers with even longer memories will remember when Sierra Mist originally took the high fructose corn syrup out, back in 2010, saying that going “natural” was one way to differentiate itself in the market. “Natural” was as much of a meaningless marketing buzzword when it comes to food then as it is now, but customers really liked the sugar-sweetened lemon-lime soda.

Indeed, trade publications foretold of the Sierra Mist rebranding at the end of 2015, but at that time Pepsi declined to state whether or not the formula would be changed. 


  1. JoAnn says

    Capri Sun Roaring Waters are now made with Stevia as well. Didn’t know until my daughter said they tasted funny and not to buy them again.

  2. wolverine70 says

    The move to Stevia is because some brands feel they can market it as a healthier alternative. I’m frankly surprised, Jill, that you could discern the taste between HFCS and sugar. They have no nutritional difference and I’ve never been able to tell the difference, but I’m aware of others who, like you, can do so.

    The change is likely due to the skyrocketing cost of cane sugar brought about by the Vermont GMO labeling law. Beet sugar is being demonized so HFCS likely seemed like a reasonable alternative to Pepsi.

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