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As reports arise about more people having trouble sleeping due to stress levels during the pandemic, PepsiCo Inc. brought a new functional beverage category set to be available nationwide this December.
To be released first on e-commerce sites, the new water-based beverage Driftwell aims to help consumers destress and catch some sleep. The drink will be available for retail consumption around the first quarter of 2021.
Packed in a 7.5-ounce can, Driftwell comes in blackberry lavender flavor, bringing a “subtle” and “soothing” feeling like a spa-water. Boosted with caffeine, PepsiCo stated that Driftwell is not carbonated nor filled with sugar or calories. It also contains 10% of the daily value of magnesium and 200 milligrams of L-theanine, easing anxiety and mental stability. Mostly found on some mushrooms and black and green teas, L-theanine is an amino acid that can enhance sleep quality while reducing stress symptoms.
The idea came up as the winner of “The Next Big Idea” internal competition last year headed by CEO Ramon Laguarta, where the food and beverage giant began to make it a reality in just less than a year. The Vice President of Innovation and Capabilities at Pepsi’s North American beverages unit, Emily Silver, stated that the launching has more consumer’s interest than ever, given the current situation of the nation, as to why the product makes it as the fastest innovation turned into reality in the company. Silver also implied that they feel confident about their claims on L-theanine effects as per scientific and regulatory perceptions, proving its efficiency via safety clinical data.
Driftwell can also fall under what PepsiCo calls “emergent” – a variety in the grocery stores that includes health and beauty. It is also perfect for hydration, even without taking a bath before bedtime.
PepsiCo ultimately envisions relaxation beverages that can dominate the same space with today’s energy category. Depending on how the consumers perceive these products, the company aims to par with its potential customers’ shopping responses.
Although there are already a few drinks focused on sleep and relaxation activities, like Neuro and Som Sleep, PepsiCo became one of the first large beverage companies that dwell into sleep-related wellness in the US trends due to this innovation.
The functional water category is also emerging in the beverage industry, as per market research from Fortune Business Insights. From a $10.34 billion market value in 2017, this sub-industry might reach $18.24 billion at the end of 2025.