published Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

New drink named after Johnson City

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. — An East Tennessee city will have a new claim to fame next month with the release of Mountain Dew Johnson City Gold.

The Johnson City Press cited Beverage Digest newsletter in reporting that PepsiCo will begin testing the new drink in August in Tennessee and other states.

Tim Swecker, unit sales manager for Pepsi Beverages Co. in Johnson City, says he is looking forward to the debut of the new drink, which will have a malt flavor to it.

“I think it’s going to be ... really good,” Swecker said. “We’ve got about a month before it’ll be out in the market, but I’m really excited about it. It’s a great tribute to Johnson City that they think of this as their hometown.”

Swecker said the name for the non-alcoholic drink is to credit the city as the birthplace of Mountain Dew, and because it has a gold tint.

Swecker said the Mountain Dew product is known for testing new flavors, including Code Red and White Out.

“The Johnson City Gold is just a continuation of that,” Swecker said. “It’s got like a malt flavor to it. Mountain Dew with a little bit of malt.”

The test-run for the drink will begin in August and go through October.

“Mostly it’ll be in convenience and smaller-format stores, but we probably will have it ... in a lot more outlets than we normally do,” he said.

Johnson City Gold will be available for purchase in 16-ounce cans, 1-liter bottles and 24-ounce multipacks, according to Beverage Digest. Along with Tennessee, the soda will also be sold at Kroger stores in the Midwest and some 7-Eleven stores.

Other places have claimed to have a part in creating Mountain Dew.

“There’s always been some kind of discrepancy, whether it was Marion, Va., Knoxville or Johnson City,” Swecker said.

The new beverage seems to put the dispute to rest.

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