Have you ever looked at your cup of coffee and thought, “I should pour some soda into this?” That’s what Pepsi’s thinking. Pepsi Cafe is set to launch next spring, which will have twice the caffeine as regular Pepsi. Coke’s already got Coca Cola Plus Coffee in foreign markets.
The market share for ready-to-drink-coffee in cans and bottles is up 22% since 2017, according to Caleb Bryant, who researches food and drink for Mintel marketing.
“In that regard, it makes sense that Pepsi would want to dive deeper into this space,” Bryant said.
A lot of these brand offshoots flop, but companies are prepared for that, said Matthew Quinn, director of the Center on Global Brand Leadership at Columbia Business School.
“For the most part, consumers fall back to the familiar taste that they’ve known for years,” Quinn said. “The smart thing is to try something for a little bit, hopefully get consumers excited, [and] get them paying attention to the brand.”
Cans of Pepsi Cafe will hit stores in April. Whether it will be more memorable than Pepsiccino or Pepsi Kona remains to be seen.