Pepsi announced this week the launch of a new soda made with Stevia and half the calories of the original Pepsi to be sold exclusively through Amazon. The move is interesting for two reasons: it’s another example of Pepsi’s rivalry with Coke, and it means Pepsi is finally taking a step towards building a distribution relationship with Amazon.

While just 1% of grocery sales are attributed to online purchases, that market is about to grow. And Amazon is set to conquer due to its distribution network, 20-million Prime members, Amazon Fresh, and Pantry. L2’s Digital IQ Index: Beverages finds that beverage brands have not invested in Amazon as they should. Visibility is low on the site, even though it deserves at least the same amount of attention as placement on grocery shelves. The graph below shows that even though most beverage brands are carried by all online retailers, they own a small percentage of first page results.

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Pepsi is also following the lead of Coca-Cola, who also launched a Stevia-based drink last year in Argentina. Proof that Coca-Cola and Pepsi’s rivalry extends to all areas, the graph below from L2’s Beverage Index shows their rivalry on Twitter. Coca-Cola had the lead in 2010, but Pepsi took the lead and has since maintained it.

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