PepsiAmericas Inc., the second largest Pepsi bottler in the US, has announced that it is to drop production of the lemon/lime soda brand, 7-Up, in favour of the PepsiCo-owned brand, Sierra Mist. The 7-Up brand is produced by Dr. Pepper/Seven Up Inc., a subsidiary of rival soft drinks group, Cadbury Schweppes.

The announcement follows the similar decision made by the Pepsi Bottling Group, the biggest Pepsi bottler in the US, last week. However, PepsiAmericas said that the decision related only to the US and that it would continue to bottle 7-Up in Puerto Rico and central Europe.

PepsiAmericas said it expects to complete the switch by the end of the year. It already distributes Sierra Mist in around 75% of its network. The company said it expected Sierra Mist, a much less established brand than 7-Up only launched by PepsiCo in 2000, to contribute to US volume growth after a "modest dip" in growth in 2003 caused by the switch.

PepsiAmericas said 7-Up represents around 2% of its US business in volume terms. The company also said that its financial results for the 2003 fiscal year would not be affected by the change.