Whether you’re team Coke or Pepsi, we can all agree that Pepsi has that little extra sweetness that we crave so much. While it’s been Coke’s fierce competitor for years and is widely known around the globe, there are probably some things you have yet to discover about America’s second-favorite soft drink. Here are 10 Things You Didn’t Know About PEPSI. (Part 2)
10. New Cocoa Cola Flavor
At first, you might think, “hold up, Pepsi released a Coca-cola flavored drink? Outrageous.” And you would be right to think so; the confusion is real. But settle down, Pepsi fans, it’s simply a cheeky nod to the competition, and it has nothing to do with the rival brand. The Cocoa Cola Pepsi is actually a hot chocolate spin on the classic soda, with little hints of marshmallows in the taste. Since Pepsi has released a lot of different flavors to celebrate various holidays – like the dessert-inspired Apple Pie Pepsi around Thanksgiving – it only seemed suitable to come up with another on-theme creation – one ideal for Christmas time. The Cocoa Cola is perfect for enjoying a nice, cozied-up, and bubbly holiday. Pepsi’s reasoning behind this otherwise very peculiar flavor was that “nothing is more classic than a hot cocoa on a winter day.” Well, since this year has been anything but typical, why not give it a try?! Since hot cocoa is already the unofficial beverage of winter, perhaps Pepsi’s Cocoa Cola could become the official soft drink of winter. But on one condition: Pepsi’s announcement tweet has to reach the 2,021 mark on retweets for the flavor to go into production. Challenge accepted. A hot chocolate soft drink does sound pretty intriguing. And we’ve got to admit; the name is also pretty funny.
9. Cherries Wild
How many soft drink companies do you know that have their very own game show? Well, now you know at least one, as Pepsi is teaming up with Fox to launch “Cherries Wild,” a new game that’s meant to evoke thoughts of Pepsi Wild Cherry, a soda targeted towards younger consumers. Each episode will last for half an hour, during which the contestants will navigate their way through two rounds of pop-culture trivia in hopes of winning the $250,000 jackpot. Where does the Wild Cherry fit in? At the end of every episode, each contestant will try to catch five Wild Cherries from a giant slot machine to win it all. The show will be hosted by American Pie alum, actor Jason Biggs. The whole concept of the show primarily comes from the newest wave of ad-free content that’s been gaining traction in the last few years. As people find more and more ways to avoid watching commercials, advertisers are now “seeking ways to embed themselves in the programming,” literally. By placing the product in question directly in the show – in this case, the Wild Cherry Pepsi – it becomes the perfect way to tie commercials and content all in the same package. It’s not the first time PepsiCo has used this marketing technique. Wild Cherry Pepsi is also currently sponsoring a reality competition on Thriller, a social-media app. What better way to sell a few drinks than to have them embedded in the program! Cherries Wild will launch in mid-February, so mark your calendars!
8. Pepsi Owns A Lot Of Other Drinks
While PepsiCo became incredibly successful mainly because of its signature soft drink Pepsi, the company has more than one drink up its sleeve. Sure, Pepsi will always remain the “icon” of the brand, but it doesn’t hurt to expand horizons a little and see how it can grow and improve with time. You know how they say the easiest way to get rid of your competition is to just buy them out? Ok, maybe that’s not exactly what they say, but that’s what PepsiCo did with a lot of other drink companies. It started by acquiring Mountain Dew in 1964 to widen its soft drink market. Then, in 1998, they wanted to appeal to the more health-conscious consumers, and so they bought Tropicana and all of its juice products. Finally, in 2001, they were able to tap into the sports market, thanks to the acquisition of Gatorade. But PepsiCo hasn’t only collected juices and soft drinks; they also produce bottled water. You might be familiar with Aquafina, which accounts for about 13% of domestic bottled water sales and has earned over $2.5 billion in sales, making it the top-selling brand of bottled water in the United States. While PepsiCo has been under some fire regarding the true source of the water – with misleading labels and false claims – Aquafina has still managed to do pretty well and bring in more sales – and more profits.
7. 50 Kinds Of Pepsi And Counting!
Kind of like Coca-Cola, PepsiCo has experimented with a lot of different flavors in the past. While most people will choose to stick to the delicious and iconic taste of the original Pepsi, it’s still important to branch out and release different flavors in order to further garner consumer attention. Which is why, since the 1960s – when PepsiCo was founded – the world has seen over 50 different types of Pepsi! You may not be familiar with even half of them since most were, or are, sold in specific countries or regions for a short time. It’s hard to imagine people enjoying cinnamon, ice cream, mango, strawberry milk, and even Mont Blanc flavored Pepsi, but it’s true. Of course, we can’t help but mention some of the crazy flavors Japan has come up with. As you all know, Japan is never shy when it comes to new flavors, and when it came to Pepsi, they went all out! Cucumber, salty watermelon, and cherry blossom were all part of the Japanese Pepsi line at some point. But the craziest part about PepsiCo? It is said that in total, there might be at least 100 flavors – counting the ones that were never released and the fictional ones spotted on the small and big screen. Like the never before seen “Pepsi Perfect,” which was showcased in Back To The Future Part II but was never released to the public. Your mere regular Pepsi sounds pretty ordinary now, doesn’t it?
6. First Ones To Use The Delivery Truck
We live in a time where if you want something, you just go online, order it, and wait for the delivery guy to show up at your doorstep with the goods. It’s easy peasy lemon squeezy. However, it wasn’t always as simple as that. Back in the day, Pepsi products – along with everything else, really – had to be delivered using horse-drawn carriages for longer distances. As you can imagine, it was not very convenient or efficient. PepsiCo saw that and were ahead of the curve in the 1900s. They decided to stop using the carriages and opt for motorized transportation instead. They started delivering their prized beverages using a car, something that had never been done before. They became the first ones to use a car as a delivery method, and it caught on quickly. Soon, all the other companies were following their lead. While cars may have cost more in transportation fees, they made the production and distribution faster, meaning they could sell more products to more people and in way less time. PepsiCo is known to jump on innovation and advances in technology, and their initiative marked the beginning of a new era. Far from the days of the horse and buggy, we can order a case a Pepsi and get it the very next day!
5. Starbucks Partnership
You might feel like there’s a Starbucks on literally every corner, and with over 14,000 locations in the U.S. alone, you might very well be right. When Starbucks was in its early days, they were opening stores left and right, taking over some cities, and slowly becoming the world’s largest coffee chain. In 1994, Pepsi decided to break new ground and partner up with Starbucks, as it saw how successful it was becoming. Together, the two companies founded the North American Coffee Partnership, which among other things, allowed them to market cold ready-to-drink coffee products under the Starbucks name while using the Pepsi distribution network. And after that, as if they weren’t already everywhere, Starbucks started expanding more and more. Have you ever wondered why you can find bottled Starbucks products just about anywhere? Well, that was Pepsi’s doing, and it’s also the reason why you can buy Pepsi products at Starbucks. This partnership, which not many people know about, is considered to be one of the most successful ventures in the beverage industry. Now dominating the majority of coffee sales, partnering up with Starbucks was undoubtedly the right move for the soft drink company, as both have been going strong ever since.
4. Chips and Soda = A Match Made In Heaven
We all love to snack. While it may not be the most important meal of the day, it sure is the most fun. While potato chips with a glass of soda might not be the healthiest, it’s still one of the most popular snacks out there. Soda and potato chips go hand-in-hand like PB&J. It’s basically a natural marriage of two iconic treats: something refreshing and something salty. A true soda and chip combo would need to include two of the biggest companies, PepsiCo and Frito-lay. In fact, the soda we all know and love today might not have been the same if it hadn’t merged with the famous snack brand. As we all know by now, PepsiCo has acquired, merged, and partnered up with a lot of companies in order to grow itself into becoming what it is today. However, it was the merger in 1965 with Frito-lay that shaped it all. It’s because of Frito-Lay that Pepsi became the largest globally distributed snack food company in the world. The merger made sense, not only in the business aspect – but for consumers as well. Since Frito-Lay was home to Cheetos, Lays, Doritos, and several other well-known brands, and PepsiCo now owns Tropicana, Quaker Oats, and Gatorade, it’s the perfect recipe for a successful business. Thanks to this merger, enjoying a nice cold soda with a bag of chips has never been easier!
3. 12 Logos
Having a recognizable logo is imperative to growing a successful brand. It allows people to familiarize themselves with the company and associate it with something concrete. Pepsi’s logo is arguably one of the most iconic out there. The little red, white, and blue circle is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Pepsi. But over the years, PepsiCo has had a lot of logo changes and underwent some major creative choices – changing about 12 times before settling to the one we know today. However, even though it changed quite a few times, it did keep the same colors – probably not to confuse the consumers too much. The first logo included the original name for PepsiCo, Brad’s Drink, but it was only in blue. Then the next 4 were all about the red, with the name “Pepsi-Cola” written in a different font. The combination of red and blue didn’t come until the 1950s and they got rid of the word “cola” in 1962. The use of red, white, and blue swirls was strictly to represent an all-American brand. The globe shape appeared in the 1970s, and since then, no matter the logo, it always seemed to revolve around that same shape. The most recent logo was designed by the Arnell Group and cost around $1 million to complete. But, no matter the logo, Pepsi is now a household name, so we’ll keep drinking it, no matter what logo they use!
2. Top Polluters
Now onto some little less joyful Pepsi news. It should come as no surprise that people have been trying to avoid single-use plastic waste more and more over the past few years. Reusable cups, the ban of plastic cutlery, and the encouragement to use recyclable bags have been on the rise, and a lot of companies have tried to reduce their ecological footprint. Unfortunately, PepsiCo does not rank in the “most eco-friendly” category. Along with Coca-Cola and Nestle, PepsiCo has been named one of the world’s biggest plastic polluters, according to data compiled by Break Free From Plastic, a global environmental organization. 14,000 volunteers in 55 countries across the globe collected nearly 350,000 pieces of tossed plastic to trace back to the source. They went to city streets, parks, forests, beaches, and even remote coastal areas. In Canada, 63 percent of the plastics examined came from a brand name, and the highest number of plastic items they collected came from Costco, followed closely by PepsiCo. The plastics campaign regional co-ordinator of Greenpeace Southeast Asia said that multinationals like PepsiCo must step away from single-use plastic packaging and turn to more sustainable materials. Perhaps glass bottles should make a comeback and become the new norm. No more plastic, and a brand new bottle collection to start!
1. But Recycled Bottles Are Coming!
Speaking of using more sustainable materials, PepsiCo plans to do just that by eliminating virgin plastic and replacing it with 100% recycled bottles in over nine European markets by the end of 2022. A very ambitious and yet well-overdue initiative that will hopefully reduce their ecological footprint by a lot. PepsiCo plans to package all of its Pepsi bottles with plastic recycled from post-consumer packaging, which would lower their carbon emissions by 40%. By turning to recycled plastic, it basically means that they will eliminate 70,000 tonnes of newly created, fossil-fuel-based plastic per year. PepsiCo will also progress by continuing to grow its “reuse and refill” systems like SodaStream. The move to recycled plastic will be 100% done in Germany, Poland, Romania, Greece, and Spain by 2021, while France, Great Britain, Belgium, and Luxembourg will be 100% by 2022. It applies to both company-owned and franchise bottlers. Hopefully, if this move is successful in the European markets, PepsiCo will do the same for the same in the American markets, and we will soon be free of new plastic!