PURCHASE, NY. – PepsiCo, Inc. has big plans for its Evolve brand of active nutrition products. The brand was part of the company’s acquisition of CytoSport in April 2019 from Hormel Foods Corp., Austin, Minn.
The initial relaunch will feature reformulated ready-to-drink (RTD) plant-based shakes. Reformulated powders are scheduled for later in the year, and reformulated bars are expected as early as 2022. The brand is relaunching in the wake of several trends, including consumers the company defines as “active wellness-seekers” looking for a way to make incrementally healthier choices that are more sustainable and the continued rise in outdoor activity over the past year.
“We reformulated Evolve to deliver on protein and micronutrients, while not compromising on taste, as we know that our consumer is interested in making incrementally healthier choices that align with their overall lifestyle,” said Laura Gardner, senior director of the company’s active fitness portfolio. “Evolve contains a good source of calcium, iron, vitamin B12 and zinc, which are an important part of any diet, but are particularly important for those whose diets are light in, or lack, meat, eggs and dairy.”
Ms. Gardner defines Evolve’s target audience of active wellness seekers as consumers who derive energy from staying active and getting outdoors.
“These consumers are seeking products with ingredients that help maintain their health and wellness and are increasingly interested in products that have a lower impact on the environment,” she said. “Our vision with Evolve is to make delicious plant-based protein accessible to all, making it even easier to integrate into wellness seeker’s everyday active lifestyles.”
The RTD shakes come in three flavors, double chocolate, vanilla bean and berry medley. All three have 20 grams of plant protein and 10 grams of plant fiber, but the berry medley has the added attribute of immune support that is derived from the inclusion of vitamin C and zinc in the formulation. The products are packaged in 11.16-oz bottles and have a suggested retail price of $2.99. Another RTD shake format is available in 11-oz cartons, comes in a fourth flavor, cafe mocha, and has a suggested retail price of $8.99 for a four-pack.
The plant-protein powder will come in two varieties, double chocolate and vanilla bean, and a 16-oz package retails for $24.99. The bars will be available in three flavors — almond cherry, trail mix and peanut butter — have 10 grams of plant protein and a suggested retail price of $2.49. All the products are Non-GMO Project verified.
“Evolve uniquely fits within our sports and fitness-focused brands as a plant-based pea protein line that includes ready-to-drink protein shakes, powders and bars,” Ms. Gardner said. “It is positioned alongside Gatorade, Propel enhanced water and Muscle Milk, all of which address different active occasions. Evolve’s consumer, the ‘active wellness seekers’ derive energy from staying active and getting outdoors.”
Evolve was introduced in 2013 by CytoSport, Inc. as a protein shake for women interested in sports nutrition products. PepsiCo’s relaunch highlights how the market for sports nutrition products has changed and broadened.
“Evolve is breaking through due to a number of factors, including our unique positioning that connects the brand to the outdoors,” Ms. Gardner said. “Americans have a renewed appreciation for spending time outside and Evolve meets that mindset. Our new visual identity and redesigned bottle invite consumers to experience the feeling of the outdoors. Our ongoing support of the National Park Foundation, and eye on sustainability efforts, cement our positioning as a brand that believes in the simplicity of the outdoors and what it provides us.
“The ingredients inside the bottle set us apart as well. Our products are formulated to deliver on protein and micronutrients and include functional ingredients, while also not compromising on taste, which is something our competitors may not be able to claim.”