Pepsi's Clear Cola Going National; Ads to Debut during Super Bowl
Dec. 08, 1992
NEW YORK (AP) _ Pepsi-Cola Co. announced Tuesday it will begin rolling out its new clear cola across the United States and Canada and said Crystal Pepsi could become a billion-dollar beverage in its introductory year.
The nation's second-biggest soft drink manufacturer will give the colorless cola a network television debut during the Super Bowl in January, Pepsi-Cola spokeswoman Amy Sherwood said.
Sherwood said she couldn't supply figures on how much the company will spend to promote Crystal Pepsi and its diet counterpart, but indicated it will be a substantial amount.
The company decided to sell the beverages nationwide after they proved popular with consumers during six months of test marketing, she said.
''Consumer demand has forced our hand. We have great confidence in this brand,'' Sherwood said.
The marketing and advertising campaign being kicked off during the Super Bowl will feature the theme ''You've never seen a taste like this.'' It will include tie-ins with major retailers, distribution of national coupons and a promotion with USA Today linked to media events.
Ads for Crystal Pepsi also will air during the broadcasts of the music industry's Grammy Awards presentation ceremony and the NCAA basketball championships.
Although Crystal Pepsi borrows its name from the company's flagship brand, the new cola is based on a different formula than is used for the brown-tinted Pepsi.
''Our goal was to create a completely different tasting cola, not just a clear version of Pepsi,'' said Craig E. Weatherup, president and chief executive officer of Pepsi-Cola North America.
Traditional cola drinkers as well as people who prefer lighter beverages and don't normally consume soda are expected to drink Crystal Pepsi.
''Creating powerful new brands provides adrenaline to the industry,'' said Brian Swette, senior vice president and general manager of Pepsi's new beverage ventures. ''Crystal Pepsi is to cola what the introduction of white chocolate is to the chocolate industry.''
Crystal Pepsi, which doesn't contain caffeine, is expected to capture more than 2 percent of the carbonated non-alcoholic beverage business in its first year of national distribution, Pepsi said. A 2 percent market share represents about $1 billion in retail sales in the $48 billion soft-drink industry.
If it achieves a 2 percent market share in its initial year, Crystal Pepsi would rank second in the standings for soft drinks in their first year. Diet Coke tops the chart having grabbed 3.3 percent of the market in its first year, according to estimates by John C. Maxwell Jr. of Wheat First Securities.
In an effort to invigorate a mature market, big soft drink makers are racing to develop non-traditional beverages.
Pepsi's arch rival Coca-Cola Co. earlier this autumn launched a flavored sparkling water beverage called Nordic Mist and expanded distribution of its sports drink, PowerAde.
Pepsi itself has expanded its presence in non-soda drinks. Through a partnership with the Thomas J. Lipton Co., Pepsi markets a line of flavored ready-to-drink teas.
Crystal Pepsi was 15 months in the making with nearly 3,000 variations created before a final formula was selected. More than 5,000 consumers participated in taste-testing before Crystal Pepsi was sent out to test markets.
Pepsi-Cola, based in Somers, N.Y., is a division of PepsiCo Inc.