Pepsi goes natural with Raw cola

Premium-quality drink aims at market of sophisticated consumers

Pepsi RawEUROPE Pepsi UK has launched an herb-infused, lightly carbonated cola in the UK aimed at a 'sophisticated, urban market' seeking 'premium and more natural products.'

Called Pepsi Raw, the beverage is Pepsi UK's first Pepsi brand extension in 10 years, and the first launch of Raw in the world. It comes in a glass bottle and is free from artificial colours, preservatives, flavourings and sweeteners.

The drink's herbal extracts include cola nut extract, coffee leaf, gum arabic and xanthan gum, as well as apple, citrus and cane sugars. Traditional Pepsi contains high-fructose corn syrup, sucrose, artificial colourings, phosphoric acid, caffeine, citric acid and natural flavours.

Pepsi Raw is focusing on the licensed trade sector — pubs, restaurants, shops and other premises that must be licensed by the local authority — where cola accounts for 42 per cent of soft-drink sales with $3 billion in sales, according to AC Nielsen figures.

"As with many other drinks categories within on-premise [licensed trade], the growth of soft drinks is being driven by premium offerings, with our research indicating that 53 per cent of people will pay more for a quality drink," said Paul Linthwaite, on-premise business unit director at Pepsi's UK partner, Britvic.

Launches in other countries would follow, he said.

The launch is being supported by a press and billboard campaign, a PR drive, POS offers, as well as a trade and consumer website (

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