Pepsi’s health focus remains as axe falls on Raw brand

Pepsi Raw was never considered a significant or strategic product in Pepsi UK’s wider health strategy, according to a source close to the brand.

Raw: Withdrawn from UK

The brand, which was marketed as a “natural born cola”, has been withdrawn from the UK market following poor sales in the two years since its launch.

At the launch, however, then marketing director Bruno Gruwez hailed the drink as “the most significant innovation from Pepsi UK in the last 15 years”. Marketed as a natural product, with a premium price tag, the cola aimed to take advantage of the rising demand for natural products, which many consumers viewed as healthier.

But Pepsi Raw struggled in the off-trade, with Nielsen showing sales of £704,000 for the year ending 26 June.

And no money was spent on advertising in the 12 months to 30 June, according to Nielsen.

The source told Marketing Week “As a niche, premium priced offer, Pepsi Raw was never considered a particularly significant or strategic product for PepsiCo UK in the context of the development of its ten-year vision to focus future profit and growth on healthier products.”

For PepsiCo, this means consumers switching to no-sugar drinks like Pepsi Max.

Retail experts suggest the brand confused consumers with mixed messaging over its natural and health credentials.

A spokesman for PepsiCo UK says the withdrawal of Pepsi Raw will not affect the “significant pledges” that have been made in its Health Report.

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