PepsiCo’s Rockstar Turns To Hemp Seeds To Help Consumers Relax

Dive brief:

  • PepsiCo presents Rockstar Unplugged, a range of functional drinks that contains hemp seeds, the company announced at the recent NACS show of the National Association of Convenience Stores. The drink is described by the beverage and snack giant as a way to encourage relaxation and improve mood.
  • The drink is available in three flavors: blueberry, passion fruit and raspberry cucumber. The company did not say when it will be available.
  • PepsiCo spent $ 3.85 billion in 2020 to acquire the struggling brand in a bid to accelerate the company’s push into functional drinks. He has spent much of the last year promoting the line and expanding its reach.

Dive overview:

For years, PepsiCo was known for its namesake cola and other iconic brands like Mtn Dew, Tropicana, and Aquafina. But under the supervision of CEO Ramon Laguarta, the company has aggressively embarked on functional drinks as people crave more than hydration in the drinks they consume.

Global sales of functional foods and beverages are expected to grow from $ 260 billion in 2020 to $ 530 billion in 2028, according to Statista.

To further tap this market, PepsiCo in May launched Soulboost, an enhanced sparkling water-based beverage designed to support mental stamina and aid relaxation. A few months earlier, she launched a line of energy drinks called Mtn Dew Rise Energy for morning consumers that contain caffeine, vitamins A and C, antioxidants, citicoline to improve mental clarity, and zinc for mental clarity. immune support. And last year, PepsiCo launched Driftwell to relax and reduce stress.

After distributing nearly $ 4 billion to add Rockstar to its portfolio, PepsiCo has expanded the brand’s reach, with plans to more than double its global footprint over the next three years to attract more consumers. The New York-based company has also filed a trademark application indicating that it may eventually decide to sell alcoholic beverages under the Rockstar brand. The drink also received a new logo and modified packaging under the ownership of PepsiCo.

The Rockstar brand has shown signs of a rebound with PepsiCo after several years of decline or stagnant growth. During that fall, it ceded market share to energy drink giants like Red Bull, Monster and smaller ranges like Celsius.

Much of its revival will come through launches like Rockstar Unplugged which cater to a different type of consumer looking to relax rather than amplify, the typical effect of an energy drink. Product extensions, in short, give consumers an additional reason to turn to the brand according to their current need or preference.

“It’s a smoother, smoother version of the traditional Rockstar,” Chris Yemma, senior director of industrial relations and commercial communications at PepsiCo, told Food Business News. “I think it’s a one-day experience. If you think of the traditional Rockstar, it’s late night, with branding attributes really amplified with associations with action sports and games. Unplugged is essentially a different mood.

In April, PepsiCo introduced Rockstar Energy + Hemp in Germany, would have been his first entry into hemp. Laguarta said this spring that the company had not decided at the time to expand it elsewhere. However, the introduction of Rockstar Unplugged indicates that PepsiCo has learned enough from the launch in Germany to launch a hemp seed-infused offering in the United States, potentially opening the door for more in the future.

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