The company has launched more than 20 new products so far this year.
PepsiCo, Inc.’s Quaker Oats division is debuting three new Cap’n Crunch products.
Cap’n Crunch Treats feature Cap’n Crunch cereal mixed with crisped rice and drizzled with a sweet coating. The treats come in Crunch Berries and Peanut Butter Crunch flavors.
Cap’n Crunch’s Chocolate Caramel Crunch is a sweetened corn and oat cereal that combines chocolate and caramel flavored pieces.
Cap’n Crunch’s Churro Bites, set to debut in June, are bite-size chocolate churros packaged in snack packs.
PepsiCo’s Tropicana brand is launching a line of island-inspired premium drinks for summer.
The Caribbean Sunset flavor features oranges, pineapples, cherries and apples.
The Summer Berry Bliss beverage blends blueberries, blackberries, apples and grapes.
The Pina Colada variety combines pineapple, coconut and white grape juice.
The Strawberry Kiwi Sunrise is made with strawberry, kiwi and white grape juice.
Less sugar and more electrolytes are the defining attributes of Gatorlyte, the newest sports drink from PepsiCo’s Gatorade brand. Gatorlyte was designed for athletes seeking “rapid rehydration,” the company said.
Available in cherry lime, orange and strawberry kiwi flavors, Gatorlyte contains less sugar than regular Gatorade and features a five-electrolyte blend, including sodium, potassium, calcium, chloride and magnesium. Each 20-oz bottle contains 50 calories and 12 grams of added sugars, as opposed to 48 grams of added sugars in original Gatorade.
Gatorlyte is available at convenience stores nationwide for a suggested retail price of $2.99 per 20-oz bottle.
PepsiCo is introducing Soulboost, a functional sparkling water brand that is available in two varieties: Lift and Ease.
The Lift variety has 200 mg of panax ginseng to help support mental stamina, according to the company. It is available in blueberry pomegranate and black cherry citrus flavors.
The Ease variety has 200 mg of L-theanine and is formulated to help people relax. It is available in blackberry passionfruit and strawberry rose.
“Our world-class research and development team developed Soulboost by pinpointing desirable functional ingredients L-theanine and panax ginseng and adding them into great-tasting sparkling water beverages to help people truly feel the moment, whether they need to support mental stamina to make it through a busy day or a moment of relaxation to help unwind — or both,” said Danielle Barbaro, vice president of R&D for PepsiCo Beverages North America.
Soulboost is the creation of a team of ideators at PepsiCo charged with identifying and executing against early-stage trends, the company said.
“With consumers today increasingly looking for convenient ways to support mental stamina and relaxation in their daily routines or find alternatives to alcoholic beverages — and the pandemic having increased people’s overall interest in wellness products — we knew it was time to introduce a game-changing product,” said Emily Silver, vice president of innovation and capabilities at PepsiCo Beverages North America.
The products have 10 to 20 calories depending on the variety and a suggested retail price of $2.99. The initial launch will be through Sprouts Farmers Market and Amazon.com.
Frito-Lay North America, a division of PepsiCo, teamed up with Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc. in April to introduce Smartfood Original Glazed Doughnut popcorn.
“When it comes to snacking, our fans look to us for unexpected, fun flavor innovations that help create joyful moments in their day,” said Tina Mahal, vice president of marketing at Frito-Lay North America. “We are constantly looking for inspiration and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, which is why we’re so excited to be teaming up with Krispy Kreme to give our fans something that’s new and never been done before.”
In 2020, Smartfood launched Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries Popcorn Mix as its first-ever co-branded limited-edition flavor. Looking to continue the momentum into the new year, Smartfood enlisted a panel of Gen Z consumers to brainstorm unexpected and playful mashups to bring to store shelves. The research showed that a Krispy Kreme fusion would be the perfect addition to the lineup, especially entering the summer months, Smartfood said.
The limited-time flavor is available at Sam’s Club and will be available in-store and online across major retailers nationwide starting May 24, while supplies last. Smartfood Original Glazed Doughnut comes in a 7.75-oz bag for $3.99, 2-oz bag for $1.99 and 18-oz bag for $6.89.
In March, PepsiCo introduced Lifewtr Immune Support. The launch marks the first product extension for the brand since its inception in 2017.
Designed to aid in immune function, the new water beverage is formulated with 10% of the recommended daily value of zinc. The drink is pH balanced and made with purified water with electrolytes added for taste.
“Research has shown that consumers are increasingly prioritizing beverages with functional ingredients that support health and wellness, particularly those that aid normal immune function,” said Zach Harris, vice president of the water portfolio for PepsiCo Beverages North America. “Because we are committed to matching that demand with industry-leading innovation, we’re thrilled to launch the Lifewtr brand's first line extension, Lifewtr Immune Support.”
The Lifewtr Immune Support bottle features a blue cap, which differentiates it from the original Lifewtr. The bottle also features a code-based design from Zach Lieberman, an artist and educator who works with computer graphics and human-computer innovation.
Lifewtr Immune Support is available nationwide in 1-liter bottles.
PepsiCo in March began rolling out Pepsi Mango and Pepsi Mango Zero Sugar nationwide, marking the brand’s first new permanent flavored cola in five years and the brand’s first permanent release of a zero sugar and regular variety at the same time, the company said.
Featuring a blend of mango juice, cola and natural flavors, Pepsi Mango contains 150 calories, 41 grams of sugar and 34 mg of caffeine per 12-oz can. Pepsi Mango Zero Sugar has no calories and no sugar.
“Our consumers are always looking for new and exciting flavors, so we couldn't be more excited to introduce them to Pepsi Mango,” said Todd Kaplan, vice president of marketing for Pepsi. “Our team has created a surprisingly perfect match with Pepsi Mango, combining the delicious taste of Pepsi cola with the flavor of a sweet, juicy mango. Mango is one of the most popular fruits in the world, and it serves as the perfect complement to Pepsi, creating an irresistible combination that our fans can enjoy everywhere throughout the year.”
Pepsi Mango first debuted in April 2019 as part of a seasonal fruit-flavored cola lineup that also included Pepsi Berry and Pepsi Lime. The limited-time-only beverages featured “a splash of real fruit juice,” according to the company.
Beginning March 22, Pepsi Mango and Pepsi Mango Zero Sugar will be available at grocery stores, mass retailers and convenience stores nationwide in 12-packs of 12-oz cans and in 20-oz bottles.
It looks like a Dorito, but with fewer carbohydrates and more protein.
Hilo Life, a keto-friendly snack brand launched recently by PepsiCo, in March introduced tortilla-style chips formulated with defatted almond flour. Flavors include nacho cheese, ranch and spicy salsa. A serving contains 3 grams of net carbohydrates, 9 grams of protein and no added sugar. (A serving of Cool Ranch Doritos, by comparison, has 18 grams of carbohydrates and 2 grams of protein. It is not a significant source of added sugars).
“We connected directly with consumers who follow a keto lifestyle to learn what they were missing, and a top request was a carb-conscious chip that tastes like the snacks they used to love,” said Amanda Cheung, brand director for Hilo Life. “We also identified almond flour as a very popular ingredient and used that insight to develop something truly unique that delivers on protein content and 3 grams net carbs. We recognized a delicious opportunity to innovate and bring our consumers a keto-friendly snack with the flavors and textures they crave.”
Hilo Life is part of PepsiCo’s Hive portfolio, a business unit established several years ago to create and grow innovative and differentiated brands, including Stubborn Soda, Maker Oats and Health Warrior.
In late 2019, Hilo Life quietly debuted with the online-only introduction of low-carbohydrate cheese and nut snack mixes. Earlier this year, the products began appearing on retail shelves nationwide at Sprouts Farmers Market and Woodman’s Markets stores and select Hy-Vee stores.
The brand was developed to tap into “noshtalgia,” said Ms. Cheung, describing a feeling consumers experience when adopting a keto lifestyle.
“It's about missing the little things when you're eating low-carb, from the crinkle of opening a chip bag to the feel of a satisfying crunch and even licking the cheese dust off your fingers,” she said.
Hilo Life products are available on Amazon.com and hilolife.com.
PepsiCo in March introduced Mtn Dew Frost Bite Zero Sugar, an alternative to the original melon-flavored soda now with no sugar. The original contains 170 calories, 46 grams of sugar and 55 mg of caffeine per 12-oz can, and the new zero sugar variety contains no calories, no sugar and 67 mg of caffeine per 12-oz can. The soft drink is available in 20-oz bottles and in 12-packs of 12-oz cans at Walmart stores nationwide.
“On the heels of the Mtn Dew Frost Bite launch at Walmart last year, Dew is thrilled to introduce Mtn Dew Frost Bite Zero Sugar for fans who want a delicious zero sugar option,” said Nicole Portwood, vice president of marketing for Mtn Dew. “This new offering leans into our steadfast commitment to consistently deliver flavor excitement and variety of choice to Dew Nation — and we are thrilled to be able to do just that with Walmart.”
PepsiCo has big plans for its Evolve brand of active nutrition products, the company announced in March. 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.”
In March, Brisk brought a new product to market for the first time in more than five years: Brisk Zero Sugar Lemon Iced Tea.
The beverage boasts the same flavor of Brisk’s original lemon-flavored iced tea but with no sugar, according to the company. Each 1-liter bottle contains 10 calories and 30 mg of caffeine. The original variety contains 190 calories, 23 mg of caffeine and 49 grams of sugar per 1-liter bottle.
Brisk is a tea and juice brand managed by the Pepsi Lipton Partnership, which PepsiCo and Unilever PLC started in 1991.
To support the launch, Brisk worked with sneaker artist Dan Gamache to create custom, hand-painted sneakers inspired by the new beverage. The brand also released video content spotlighting Mr. Gamache and four up-and-coming artists: multimedia artist duo Riiisa Boogie and Rezones, photographer Mark Elzey, and graffiti artist Epic Uno.
“At Brisk, we celebrate creative individuality and work to amplify voices of emerging talent, whether through our bottle labels — each one created by a different artist — or inventive campaigns aimed at supporting up-and-coming creators,” said Katrina McDonald, senior marketing director of the Pepsi Lipton Partnership. “Our new Brisk Zero Sugar Lemon Iced Tea product and programming shows that greatness can always be achieved, even when starting from zero. We hope it inspires artists to embrace the possibilities that come with starting fresh and seeing where their creativity takes them.”
Brisk Zero Sugar Lemon Iced Tea is available nationwide in 1-liter bottles and in 12-packs of 12-oz cans in select markets.
Starbucks Corp. in March launched a new line of beverages aimed at the 72% of households that have never tried a ready-to-drink coffee product, according to the IRI 2020 Household Panel. The new beverages are a product of the North American Coffee Partnership, which Starbucks and PepsiCo established in 1994.
To develop the new offerings, Starbucks conducted what it claimed to be its biggest body of research yet. The research found that consumers are seeking a smooth coffee taste with a small amount of milk and flavor, no preservatives, lower sugar and calories and at an accessible price point.
Consumer feedback indicated that cold brew has become more appealing to those not currently drinking RTD coffee, so the R&D team started with a cold-brew coffee base then chose flavor profiles inspired by popular cold coffee beverages from Starbucks coffee shops.
The result is Starbucks Cold & Crafted, made with cold-brew coffee with a splash of milk and light sweetness. The drink comes in three flavors: Coffee with a Splash of Milk & Vanilla, Coffee with a Splash of Milk & Mocha, and Coffee Sweetened Black. The vanilla and mocha flavors contain 90 calories and 15 grams of sugar, while the black variety contains 50 calories and 10 grams of sugar.
“The team’s primary focus was to develop lightly sweetened coffee beverages, below 100 calories, without compromising the taste profile,” said Manpreet Cheema, senior product developer on Starbucks’ R&D team. “Choosing the best roast profiles and brewing method was key to delivering on a smooth, refreshing sip, and we did months of tastings and consumer tests to make sure we got it just right.”
Starbucks Cold & Crafted retails for around $3 per 11-oz bottle at grocery stores and convenience stores.
PepsiCo in March partnered with NBA player LeBron James to launch Mtn Dew Rise Energy, a new energy drink designed to offer a mental boost and immune support, according to the company.
Featuring no added sugar and 25 calories, Mtn Dew Rise Energy contains approximately 180 mg of caffeine (compared with 77 mg in original Mtn Dew soda), vitamins A and C, antioxidants, citicoline, zinc and fruit juice. The beverage comes in 16-oz cans and is available in six flavors: Pomegranate Blue Burst, Orange Breeze, Strawberry Melon Spark, Tropical Sunrise, Berry Blitz, and Peach Mango Dawn.
“As energy beverages evolve to provide even more functional benefits, we’re excited to introduce the new Mtn Dew Rise Energy for those looking for a morning boost with enhanced mental clarity and immune support that helps you conquer the morning to conquer the day,” said Fabiola Torres, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of the energy category for PepsiCo. “LeBron is the epitome of motivation and has achieved legendary status by seizing every morning. He not only continues to excel on and off the court but has dedicated his life to help others rise as well.”
The debut of Mtn Dew Rise Energy kicks off PepsiCo’s multiyear partnership with Mr. James, which will eventually span to more categories, including snacks, PepsiCo said.
“It’s important to me that I believe in the brands and products where I invest my time,” Mr. James said. “When I first learned about the message behind the drink — the fact that every day is a chance to rise for all of us — that really resonated with me. The ability to rise and find motivation to do more and be more every single morning is powerful. I’m excited about the opportunity to bring that to life through this partnership with PepsiCo.”
Mtn Dew Rise Energy is available nationwide for a suggested retail price of $2.59 per can.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, cocktail culture is taking hold at home, according to PepsiCo. That’s why the beverage giant entered the cocktail mixer category in March with the launch of Neon Zebra, a new line of non-alcoholic cocktail mixers.
Made with juice and no artificial sweeteners, Neon Zebra mixers are packaged in 7.5-oz mini cans that, when mixed with 3 oz of the spirit of choice, make two cocktails. The mixers are available in four flavors: Margarita Mix, Strawberry Daiquiri Mix, Mojito Mix and Whiskey Sour Mix.
“With at-home cocktail consumption on the rise, we saw an opportunity to build and disrupt this fast-growing category with a product that meets consumers' needs for convenience — to cut out time and mess without compromising on quality and taste,” said Emily Silver, vice president of innovation and capabilities for PepsiCo Beverages North America. “Neon Zebra adds a new level of personality in the cocktail mixer category with its bold flavors and colors and easy-to-use, recyclable mini-can format. We're thrilled with this new venture and all of the opportunities to come in the mixology category.”
Neon Zebra is rolling out nationwide this month for a suggested retail price of $6.99 to $7.99 per six-pack.
In February, PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North America division partnered with professional basketball player Jayson Tatum to release a new Ruffles potato chip flavor. Ruffles Flamin’ Hot BBQ combines a tangy barbecue flavor with Frito-Lay’s Flamin’ Hot kick. The flavor was inspired by Mr. Tatum’s hometown, St. Louis, which is known for its spicy barbecue. The new chips mark the first time any Frito-Lay snack has combined barbecue flavor with Flamin’ Hot flavor, according to the company.
“Growing up in St. Louis, bold and spicy barbecue flavors were a staple for me, so bringing that heat to my favorite snack is incredible to see — and taste,” Mr. Tatum said.
Sabra Dipping Co., LLC, a joint venture between PepsiCo and the Strauss Group, introduced Sabra Kids snacks for children in February. The products come in a brownie batter dip and graham cracker sticks variety and a taco dip and rolled tortilla chips format. Both dips are made with chickpeas.
A package features three single-serve snacks and the products are plant-based, vegan and non-GMO.
“Like many families, we’ve embraced a more plant-based way of eating at home, and I know it can be very challenging to find incredibly great tasting, excellent snacks for kids,” said Jason Levine, chief marketing officer. “Sabra Kids is a delicious snack and we’re thrilled for families to taste for themselves."
PepsiCo in February expanded its Bubly line of sparkling water with caffeinated varieties.
Featuring 35 mg of caffeine per 12-oz can, Bubly Bounce is available in five flavors, including mango passion fruit, triple berry, blood orange grapefruit, citrus cherry and blueberry pomegranate. The beverages contain no calories, sweeteners or artificial flavors.
“Bubly sparkling water was created to bring more smiles into the sparkling water category, and new Bubly Bounce takes it to the next level with caffeine,” said Zach Harris, vice president of the water portfolio at PepsiCo Beverages North America. “As more individuals seek out sparkling waters with added benefits, Bubly Bounce delivers all of the delicious flavor and hydration of the original, now with just a kick of caffeine.”
Bubly Bounce may be found online and at all major retailers nationwide in 16-oz single-serve cans and 24-packs of 12-oz cans.
In a saturated beverage market filled with drinks for children and adults, PepsiCo is focusing on the in-between stage — teenagers — with the debut of Frutly hydrating juice waters. The beverages debuted in February.
“The launch of Frutly is the result of identifying a white space in the ambient juice aisle,” said Samantha Siegal, senior director of ambient juice marketing at PepsiCo. “We found that the current category does not have offerings for teens who have outgrown the juice boxes and pouches of their childhood and are now seeking products that better fit their more mature lifestyle.”
Made with fruit juice, water and the electrolytes magnesium and potassium for taste, Frutly beverages are formulated with vitamins C and E and contain no added sugar or artificial sweeteners. The drinks come in strawberry kiwi, fruit punch and apple grape flavors. The beverages are made with grape juice, apple juice and strawberry juice, and the fruit punch and strawberry kiwi flavors also add black carrot juice. Each 12-oz bottle contains 60 calories and 15 grams of sugar.
“Recent research has shown parents are looking for healthier beverage options for their families; in fact, 56% of people leaving the category blame poor nutritionals like sugar, calories, and artificial sweeteners for pushing them away,” Ms. Siegal said. “And what’s more, very few — if any new products — in the market check the boxes for both these needs from parents and teens. Frutly is the answer to this dilemma, delivering on parents’ demands for hydration with no added sugar and no artificial sweeteners, and teens’ cravings for delicious, refreshing taste.”
Hydration was a top concern as PepsiCo formulated Frutly, Ms. Siegal added, especially during the pandemic.
“Research shows that more than half of all children and adolescents in the US are not getting enough hydration,” she said. “Having hydrating drinks available that are also shelf-stable remains essential as we all continue to work and learn from home, and Frutly is well positioned to serve as a delicious and functional juice water option that both teens and their parents can feel good about.”
Frutly hydrating juice waters are available nationwide for a suggested retail price of $1.29 per 12-oz bottle and $3.98 to $4.59 for a four-pack.
In January, PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay business debuted Cheetos Crunch Pop Mix, which combines traditional Cheetos with Cheetos Popcorn. Each 1-cup serving contains 160 calories, 1 grams of protein and 1 gram of sugar.
“2020 was a year unlike any other in that we saw the incredibly popular introduction of Cheetos Popcorn in January, quickly followed by world-changing events that affected every industry differently,” said Rachel Ferdinando, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Frito-Lay North America. “For our brands, we saw trends like Cheetos recipe searches skyrocketing 190%. So now we’re thinking with that lens through everything we introduce to the world. Hopefully Cheetos Crunch Pop Mix can provide a small moment of joy and bring a few smiles this year.”
PepsiCo in January added a new permanent flavor of Mtn Dew to its beverage portfolio for the first time in more than a decade.
New Mtn Dew Major Melon features a watermelon flavor and a bright pink hue. Each 20-oz bottle contains 270 calories, 73 grams of sugar and 91 mg of caffeine. The soft drink also is available in a Zero Sugar version, which contains no calories or sugars and 113 mg of caffeine.
“Watermelon is a truly transportive taste, evoking feelings of freedom and nostalgia,” said Nicole Portwood, vice president of marketing for Mtn Dew. “As a brand, Mtn Dew is always pushing the envelope to bring Dew Nation the next bold taste that they crave in a way only Dew can. We found watermelon to be the No. 1 choice of flavors tested amongst our fans, and Mtn Dew Major Melon is our answer for those who are looking for a refreshing charge to keep them invigorated all day long.”
Both Mtn Dew Major Melon and Mtn Dew Major Melon Zero Sugar are available nationwide in 20-oz bottles, 2-liter bottles and 12-packs of 12-oz cans.
Mtn Dew Major Melon is the first permanent flavor introduction since Mtn Dew White Out in 2010.