PepsiCo Pushed Zero Sugar for Super Bowl

PepsiCo is one of the major sponsors for the Super Bowl and the highlight for this year’s game was its premium bottled water brand called Lifewtr and Pepsi Zero Sugar.  The company announced that it would use the halftime show sponsorship to promote its zero-sugar line of products. But the company did not rely only on its healthy drink, but it also enlisted the help of Lady Gaga.

While PepsiCo is no longer new when it comes to halftime sponsorship during the Super Bowl, what makes this year’s sponsorship unique is that it ditched its traditional soda and pushed for something healthy with its zero-calorie and zero-sugar Lifewtr. But what drove the company to stay off course from tradition?

Super Bowl Showcases PepsiCo’s Brand to Millions

The company’s decision was geared towards the increasing number of Super Bowl fans who are also health advocates. Chief Marketing Officer Seth Kaufman noted that the firm was happy to feature its zero-calorie products on such a unique sporting event. He also indicated that the corporation is actively transforming its products so that they can meet the needs of every consumer following different lifestyles.

It may be surprising to some consumers to know that PepsiCo is now producing premium bottled water. This new product is the result of the company’s aim to catch up on the premium bottled water trend led by Coca Cola’s SmartWater. While the company is still earning profits from its traditional full-calorie drinks, they are still losing revenue as more and more consumers are becoming health-conscious. It is not only PepsiCo that is suffering from sales of traditional soda brands.

Soda Giants Adapting to Meet New Consumer Needs

One of the reasons that have likely resulted in the decline of the sales of the company is the shift by consumers to buying healthier options.  In fact, the company has lost a significant bulk of its millennial consumers who now prefer drinks with little sugar and calories.  PepsiCo used the Super Bowl opportunity to get more attention from people all over the world

The company is designing its drinks to provide more benefits to consumers. The Lifewtr, for instance, is not just premium bottled water but it is concocted with balanced electrolytes and pH level to provide more hydration. But aside from the premium bottled water, the company has also rebranded its product as part of their healthy drinks lineup. They recently rebranded Pepsi Max as Pepsi Zero Sugar.

So, was the decision to push a healthy Super Bowl efficient for PepsiCo? For now, it is hard to tell.

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PepsiCo Adding to Healthy Options Portfolio With KeVita Acquisition

The trend continues for big beverage companies to purchase smaller companies that manufacture healthier drinks. PepsiCo is no different. Recently, it revealed its intention to buy KeVita. This California-based company makes probiotic drinks and is famous for making kombucha, apple cider vinegar, and other healthy beverages.

KeVita offers nutritious drinks and it is known for its three product lines – Master Brew Kombucha, Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic, and Sparkling Probiotic Drink. These drinks contain live cultures of organic probiotics that can improve the condition of the gut microbiota. Healthy gut microbiota is crucial for stronger immunity and overall health. The company serves not only the health-conscious individuals but also those who follow dietary restrictions like vegans and celiacs (those who consume gluten-free products).

The Benefits Of The KeVita Acquisition

It is not only PepsiCo that has acquired smaller companies that cater to the health niche. Large corporations all over North America have seen the opportunity for mergers and acquisitions. PepsiCo’s acquisition of KeVita will help expand the food giant’s wellness and health offerings and also provide scale to a growing business.


Will this change the natural products offered by KeVita? Bill Moses, KeVita’s CEO,  noted that the company is transforming the industry of functional beverages and its acquisition by PepsiCo will still deliver the same products to KeVita’s loyal customers. The company will also be able to continue to operate its bottling facilities independently.

Reasons For Acquisition

Big food companies are always on the lookout for small, innovative businesses that are attracting an untapped market segment.  Smaller food companies better understand the needs of millennial consumers, so they are the faster to innovate. Many of these businesses are focused on the quality of higher margin products made from whole food, simple, and organic ingredients. These small businesses tend to have stable followers so that the bigger companies can absorb the clientele of the acquired smaller companies.

Small brands offer a sense of intimacy that larger companies do not have. KeVita, for instance, is popular among its customers as it delivers high-quality probiotics without any compromises. The small size of the group makes it easier to follow the highest standards in making their products. This is in contrast with the situation in most food manufacturer giants.

A Win-Win Situation

Aside from big business getting an advantage with the acquisition, the purchased company can still enjoy many benefits. Bill Moss added that joining the giant food and beverage corporation will give KeVita the opportunity also to reach PepsiCo’s broader audience. PepsiCo has the power to introduce KeVita to the global market. This action can put leverage on both companies regarding their marketing and distribution capacities. The acquisition is a win-win situation for both companies.

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Beverage Giant, PepsiCo, Joins The Organic Bandwagon

Food and beverage manufacturers are revamping their products by using organic and natural ingredients. One company that has recently joined the bandwagon is PepsiCo.

PepsiCo is launching a new version of Gatorade that has been certified organic by the USDA. The new product is devoid of any artificial flavoring and coloring. PepsiCo is releasing the new product to adapt to the growing natural food movement in the United States amongst athletes.

This is not the first time the company has changed ingredients found in Gatorade. In the past, it has removed some ingredients like brominated vegetable oil (BVO) after the company has been criticized online for using a questionable ingredient. However, this time, PepsiCo will launch organic Gatorade as a new product line with a higher price than traditional Gatorade.

Beverage Companies Like PepsiCo Must Give Consumers the Option

Gatorade controls 70% of the sports drink market, but it faces pressure from newcomers like coconut water which is favored by many people. Moreover, the organic food industry has increased its sales to $43.3 billion in 2015 which is equal to 11% of the total consumer food and beverages sales.

It took the company two years of research before it could launch the new line of products. Today, the company released different flavors of organic Gatorade such as lemon, mixed berry, and strawberry in Kroger for the initial beverage launch. Gatorade’s senior vice president Brett O’ Brien noted that the company aims to expand the distribution of the product to many natural convenience stores as well as select groceries.

Ordinary consumers are not the only ones who prefer to drink organic beverages. Athletes, who are the biggest consumers of Gatorade, want to go organic. According to the survey conducted by Gatorade, 12% of athletes show interest in buying organic products.

Revamping Gatorade to an all-natural product means that the company had to shed all artificial ingredients and refine its manufacturing practices. One of the major concerns from consumers is a change in taste because of the significant changes in ingredients.  PepsiCo assures its current customers that the taste will remain the same without sacrificing the nutritional value.

This bold move is not only observed in PepsiCo. Other companies have also shifted and joined the natural movement. For instance, General Mills has stopped using artificial ingredients in some of its cereal products while Kraft Heinz Co. released an organic version of its fruit juices.

While the product is sold at $0.50 more than the non-organic equivalent, the company is still confident that people will patronize the product because of its organic claim. After all, many consumers are now after organic products, and this is what the new Gatorade is all about.

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