The sodas, which are targeted toward consumers grilling outdoors, further the beverage giant’s strategy to pair its colas with certain foods and occasions.

Pepsi debuts limited-edition peach and lime flavors for summer

Courtesy of PepsiCo

Dive Brief:

  • Pepsi is rolling out limited-edition peach and lime flavors geared toward summer grilling, the beverage giant said in a statement.
  • The New York company said the “tangy citrus bite of lime and the plush sweetness of a ripe peach are popular and nostalgic summertime flavor profiles.” Pepsi added that the new drinks provide a “sweet and refreshing flavor” to pair with the bold, dynamic and smokey savory flavors from the grill.
  • Soda companies have turned to unique and limited-time offerings to attract consumers and boost interest in the category.

Dive Insight:

Soda consumption has been falling for more than two decades as consumers turn to healthier products and curtail their sugar intake. Per capita soda consumption is estimated at 42.8 gallons this year, according to IBISWorld, a sharp drop from nearly 50 gallons in 2000.

A big part of Pepsi’s strategy to drum up interest has been pairing its namesake cola with particular foods, including burgers, pizza and hot dogs. This time around, Pepsi is collaborating with chef Bobby Flay to promote the new peach and lime sodas while building on the brand’s #BetterWithPepsi campaign. It’s also promoting access to exclusive recipes from Flay and a chance to win a BBQ experience.

The move to target grilling, an activity where friends and families congregate, is a shrewd move for Pepsi as the summer season approaches. The company noted a recent study by the Harris Poll showing 80% of Americans prefer outdoor BBQs to dining out, and more than half of all consumers consider grilling as one of their most popular hobbies. The new flavors help to increase the likelihood that Pepsi has a seat at the table when they engage in the activity. 

Pepsi is no stranger to limited-time offerings.

In recent years, the brand has rolled out Pepsi S’mores Collection, Pepsi Cracker Jack and Pepsi Apple Pie, among other flavors. Temporary flavors are popular in the food and beverage sector because they generate buzz online, particularly among younger consumers. They also help attract interest in the core brand, with people often buying the special item and the signature product.

“Bobby Flay is synonymous with grilling and we all know any grilling occasion is enhanced by an ice-cold Pepsi, so it only felt right that we bring it all together as we gear up for summer,” Jenny Danzi, senior director with Pepsi, said in a statement.

Archrival Coca-Cola has turned to limited-time flavors, too, but with a different twist. A major part of Coca-Cola’s recent innovation efforts have centered around its Creations platform, which not only generates unique, limited-time flavors but positions Coca-Cola as a lifestyle brand through merchandise and virtual experiences. Prior offerings include a dream-inspired flavor, another that is space-flavored and a third beverage created with the help of artificial intelligence.

Earlier this year, Oana Vlad, senior director of global strategy at Coca-Cola, said Creations engages young consumers about twice as much as other Coke trademark initiatives and almost all of them — more than 75%— are new to the Coke trademark. “We are re-introducing the brand, in a way, to the next generation,” Vlad said. 

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