Britvic to review Pepsi Raw after poor sales

Pepsi Raw, the cola made from natural products, is under review by Britvic after disappointing sales figures.

Pepsi Raw
Pepsi Raw

Nielsen reported off-trade sales of £704,000 for the year ending June 26.

Britvic, Pepsi’s UK bottler, has confirmed that the brand is under review, but that it did not signify that it was moving away from natural products.

It said: “We can confirm that Raw is currently being reviewed as part of a regular and ongoing assessment of the performance of each of our brands. We continue to support Raw as part of the Pepsi brand portfolio, and Britvic remains committed to providing a wide range of soft drinks, including products with all natural ingredients.”

Pepsi Raw was launched in 2008 in a bid to appeal to a market of sophisticated consumers who were choosing more natural products.

The drink is made using raw cane sugar, instead of high fructose corn syrup more often used in cola recipes.

Rather than backing the brand with a large-scale launch, it relied on building buzz and word-of-mouth marketing, as well as a heavy retail presence and promotional activity.

Reports suggest that the brand has been losing distributors and on Pepsi Raw’s Facebook page, much of the conversation is about where the product can be bought.

The brand’s website, pepsiraw.co.uk, has not been updated recently. This morning it carried details of a competition to win tickets to Latitude 2010, which was held over the weekend of July 20.

Earlier this year, PepsiCo UK indicated it was shifting marketing spend to brands that are perceived as healthier, such as Walkers Baked, Pepsi Raw, Pepsi Max and Tropicana.

It has a target for 65% of carbonated drinks sales to be from sugar-free variants by 2015.

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