Pepsi debuts its own “Cocoa” Cola flavor

13 Jan 2021

PepsiCo is fanning the fires of the cola wars with the release of its new Pepsi “Cocoa” Cola flavor. The new soda reportedly has a taste that blends the classic Pepsi soft drink with flavors of hot cocoa and marshmallow.

While the concept was whipped up in Pepsi’s test kitchen, the flavor was put out on Twitter in mid-December with the request to gain 2,021 retweets in order for the company to make a batch. Within hours, the company had met its goal and promised to release more details on the upcoming flavor release in 2021.

Pepsi debuts its own “Cocoa” Cola flavor
Image Courtesy of PepsiCo

While cocoa is a popular flavor during the winter months, as the weather warms, it is unlikely that this flavor will retain the initial enthusiasm that it garnered on social media prior to the holidays. Nevertheless, its release shows that PepsiCo is working to innovate and resonate with today’s consumers.

From its test kitchens, the company has also recently released Pepsi Apple Pie and a sparling rose-flavored cola. Outside of soda, however, the company has been making even bigger moves in its mission to remodel its portfolio.

This year, PepsiCo bought RockStar Energy for $3.85 billion to add to its energy drink lineup that includes Kickstart, GameFuel and AMP. The company also bought SodaStream for $3.2 billion in 2018 and is continually expanding its footprint in functional beverages with CytoSport and Kevita. In its quest for evolution, PepsiCo has also beefed up the snacking side of its business to focus on better-for-you offerings that it sells through its two new direct-to-consumer e-commerce websites PantryShop.com and Snacks.com.

While its new cola flavor is an unusual addition, it is also one that is clearly meant to get consumers talking by taking a jibe at its rival Coca-Cola. The name, which clearly references Coke, has already proved successful at getting customers talking about the soda – a category that has been continually slipping in sales volumes and popularity since water overtook it as the most popular beverage in the U.S. in 2016.

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