PepsiCo doubles down on nonalcoholic cocktail mixers with Unmuddled

8 Jul 2021

Legacy soda manufacturer PepsiCo is moving deeper into the non-alcoholic cocktail space with the announcement that it will debut a line of premium mixers called Unmuddled. The product line will be available beginning in September at Fresh Thyme and on Amazon.com.

Pepsi’s new mixers will come in three flavors: Lemon Mint, Fiery Pineapple and Spiced Mandarin. Each flavor will be sold in single-flavor 4-packs for $6.19. Each bottle of the mixer will contain 70 calories and will have no artificial sweeteners.

PepsiCo doubles down on nonalcoholic cocktail mixers with Unmuddled
Image Courtesy of PepsiCo

Unmuddled is designed for those seeking experimentation, flavor variety and a bar-quality experience at home, PepsiCo said.

At-home cocktails have become more popular than ever before thanks to the appearance of COVID keeping people in their homes for the better part of a year. As a result of limited access to bars and cafes, U.S. consumers increased their spending on cocktail mixers by 36% to $304.6 million in the 52 weeks ending Feb. 13, 2021, according to Nielsen data reported by Food Dive. The previous year, cocktail mixer sales only grew 1.2%.

While there are many places reopening in the world, at-home consumption continues to remain strong, and PepsiCo is looking to take a stake in that market. In March, the beverage giant began offering its first mixer, Neon Zebra. Made for classic cocktails like margaritas and mojitos, this initial foray into the alcohol-adjacent space was the next step on what has been a long path for PepsiCo as it moves away from being known primarily for its namesake soda and Tropicana juice.

Recently, the multinational has released a slew of functional drinks, including a stress-relieving drink called Driftwell and an enhanced sparkling water and juice combination called Soulboost. Now the company is forging further into the functional drinks space and is beginning to offer options that are intended for making beverages rather than just being beverages on their own terms.

Although Unmuddled seems to encourage complicated mixes through the flavor profiles that it offers, the mixers will not come with prescribed recipes or techniques thereby opening the door for unadulterated experimentation by consumers. This lack of direction may be intentional as it allows consumers to use these mixers for both virgin and alcoholic beverages, should they so choose.

Going forward, there is also the possibility that PepsiCo will begin dipping its toes into the alcohol space. This June, Bloomberg reported the company filed a trademark application under its Rockstar brand name that would allow it to sell alcoholic beverages, including beer, alcoholic fruit cocktail drinks, alcoholic malt beverages and hard seltzer. Having a mixer already in its product portfolio will give PepsiCo the opportunity to make a perfect pairing that could include promotion as well as pre-mixed RTD options.

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