Pepsi is launching a new line of naturally sweetened soda, exclusively through Amazon- a big move in an industry that has lagged in e-commerce. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Not coming to a store near you right away? Pepsi's latest soft drink- Pepsi True. It will launch exclusively on Amazon- a strategic decision by the beverage maker- facing plummeting soda sales. Beverage Digest Editor and Publisher John Sicher: SOUNDBITE: JOHN SICHER, EDITOR AND PUBLISHER, BEVERAGE DIGEST (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Our data shows carbonated soft drinks have been in decline for 10 years. Diets are now underperforming the regulars because of some consumers concerns about diet sweeteners, and both Pepsi and Coke have to innovate. Consumers want lower calorie beverages with natural sweeteners. So Pepsi True was launched today. Coke launched Coke Life a few weeks ago in the U.S. Both companies have to work hard at innovation." Coke is also experimenting with e-commerce through Amazon- and recently said it would bring back Surge- a soda it discontinued 12 years ago. Sicher says Pepsi is a master at marketing- and that will play to their advantage when they promote the product in digital videos on Amazon. SOUNDBITE: JOHN SICHER, EDITOR AND PUBLISHER, BEVERAGE DIGEST (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Amazon and e-commerce are driving a lot of the retail growth in the U.S. and the beverage companies are very under represented on Amazon because of their bottling systems, so it's a way to launch a product to get some high media exposure. It's also a way to launch a product before putting it into the bottling system and allowing it to get some scale which makes it easier for the bottlers to handle." But there's a good reason consumers don't always want to buy new food and drinks online: Reuters' Anjali Athavaley: SOUNDBITE: ANJALI ATHAVALEY, REUERS FOOD AND BEVERAGE REPORTER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "They are really trying to reach out to first adopters and people who are willing to click the mouse and buy the product that they may not be familiar with, and that really represents a small population." Pepsi True, in 24-pack minicans, will be available on Amazon, ready to be delivered to customers homes, in mid-October.