Is Pepsi readying a Coca-Cola Life rival for UK launch?

Hot on the heels of Coca-Cola Life, fierce rival PepsiCo looks to be preparing to launch stevia-based soft drink Pepsi True into the UK market.

The Pepsi True brand had only previously been available in the US exclusively through Amazon but following a trademark application with the Intellectual Property Office it looks like PepsiCo is readying a wider European launch.

It is not yet clear whether Pepsi True would also be sold exclusively through Amazon or across British retailers.

A spokeswoman for PepsiCo UK declined to comment.

Since launching last September, Coca-Cola Life, which also uses a mixture of stevia and sugar as sweeteners, appears to have been successful. Total sales for the four-week period to 11 Oct 2014 hit £4.2m, up £1.6m over the previous month.

Coca-Cola Life’s ability to attract customers away from Pepsi brands could also be a concern for PepsiCo. Data from Neilsen Homescan revealed that 22% of Coca-Cola Life purchases over the 12 weeks to 8 November 2014 were from Pepsi Max consumers and an additional 12.5% were drinkers of regular Pepsi.

A UK launch would also offer a fresh start for the Pepsi True brand, which has run into controversy in the US. The drink was temporarily delisted from Amazon after its webpage was inundated with negative reviews from environmentalist groups who slammed the soft drink giant’s “irresponsible” use of palm oil.

Richard Ford, senior food and drink analyst at Mintel, believes it is inevitable that Pepsi will launch a counter-offensive after the initial success of Coca-Cola Life.

“With the ongoing debate around lowering sugar levels this would be a timely launch,” he said. “A stevia-based drink is also the only thing missing for Pepsi to fully align its UK product portfolio with Coca Cola so it’s starting to feel like a case of when will they strike.”

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  • biwei 23 Jan 2015 at 12:27 am

    It is good to know the new flavor launched by Pepsi, i must try it if it becomes available in where i live. After reading this post, i think that Coca Cola indeed is a company that had longer history. And we can see why they are successful since they always working on product innovation, for example they have been changing their packaging through out the time, and there are new flavors coming out and they launched a healthier version of coke.
    Personally, in my opinion, i think Pepsi can try to launch their new flavor in China. Pepsi is really welcomed in China since most Chinese people prefer the flavor of Pepsi than Coke. I know that american care more about what’s in their drink, it is good, but i don’t think it is really necessary to judge what ingredient that are used in Pepsi. What i mean is, those tasty soda drink is not a healthy option for us compared with drinking water or green smoothies. People drink it for some fun and for their taste.
    And yes, Coca Cola is a good example of product innovation, and i think these innovation concept is what Pepsi can learn from. Hope to try these new flavors soon!

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