Pepsi expands craft soda category
PepsiCo’s new line of craft soda, dubbed Stubborn Sodas, hit shelves nationwide this week as the company looks to capitalize on the craft trend and win over today’s generation of consumers in a slumping soda market.
The new brand focuses on unexpected flavor combinations like Black Cherry with Tarragon, Orange Hibiscus, Agave Vanilla Cream Soda, Classic Root Beer and Lemon Berry Acai. Cutting down the calories in regular soda, each 12 oz. glass bottle of Stubborn Soda contains 90 to 100 calories and is made with fair trade certified cane sugar and stevia — ingredients the company hopes will help consumers view the brand as a healthier alternative to other beverages. The sodas are made with natural flavors and without high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, and azo dyes.
PepsiCo has shaken up its soda category in recent months. In June the company reintroduced an aspartame-sweetened diet soft drink to the market after removing the ingredient from Diet Pepsi less than a year ago. Earlier this year, the company launched 1893, adding another beverage to its craft soda portfolio featuring a blend of premium kola nut extract, real sugar and sparkling water and is available in original and ginger cola flavors. The beverage is meant to pay respect to more than 100 years of cola-making expertise.
Scott Finlow, vice president of innovation and insights for global foodservice at PepsiCo, told Fortune the company can see consumers are changing and demand more quality products featuring natural ingredients. “Craft is not a fad. It is here to stay,” he says. “We think craft is a critical growth space and we hope this is something we will be talking about for years to come.”