In the face of slipping soda sales, PepsiCo is introducing an online-exclusive flavor pod system called Drinkfinity. As taste buds switch to more health-focused drinks and e-commerce becomes the norm, the new brand illustrates how major beverage companies are reinventing their products to meet shifting consumer tastes.
Pepsi is dealing with an increasingly distracted drinker. Upstart brands launch every week and purchase loyalty is vanishing. Like other beverage brands, the company must turn to digital to stand out.
Last year, Pepsi’s largest digital investments (including social media, digital ad buys, and CRM programs) still focused on the soda category, according to L2’s Digital IQ Index: Beverages. However, the brand’s most successful products are its water brands, reflecting a major shift: sales of water are surging, while the soft drink category falls flat. Drinkfinity targets the digital consumer while also speaking to the growing water trend.
All aspects of the line, from the water “vessel” to the flavor pods, can only be bought online. And because the system requires drinkers to commit to a reusable bottle that is made especially for Drinkfinity flavor pods, it could also stir up some much-needed loyalty in the otherwise fickle consumer.
The product also responds to other trends. The reusable water bottle could be a play for sustainability, while the poppable pods appear to be a response to the pod mania that recently took over the internet. The product line’s flavors feature all-natural ingredients like ginger, lemongrass, and oats, reflecting consumers’ gravitation towards a healthy and more natural palette, a trend gaining popularity in the fragrance industry as well. But given Pepsi’s reputation for iconic soda drinks, will Drinkfinity ultimately help or dilute the brand?