Pepsi fans, rejoice.
The soft drink company has unveiled a new coffee-infused drink called Pepsi Café, which will be headed to a store near you in April, but only for a limited time. The drink, which is also available in a vanilla flavor, will be packed with almost twice as much caffeine as a regular Pepsi.
The drink will combine the taste of regular Pepsi with coffee, which doesn't sound too appealing to me, but hey. The soft drink brand is looking for ways to remain relevant as the decade comes to a close. "Cola has been a pretty stagnant category over the last 20-30 years," Todd Kaplan, vice president of marketing for Pepsi, told CNN Business. "As consumer preferences continue to evolve, we as Pepsi need to evolve as well to better meet those needs."
This isn't Pepsi's first foray into the coffee-cola world. The company briefly experimented with a coffee drink called Pepsi Kona in 1996, and in the 2000s, they toyed with another product called Pepsi Max Cino. Both flopped, but Pepsi leaders believe that there are customers out there willing to give it a shot.
Consumers gave the new Pepsi Café a try and according to Danielle Barbaro, director of research and development at PepsiCo, they were "quite surprised about the synergy between cola and coffee." When they tried it, "they saw that the flavors really blended," she told CNN Business.
However, Kaplan seems to understand that the idea of coffee and cola combined still may not be an ideal choice for the average customer. "The concept of cola infused with coffee, for people to initially wrap their head around until they try it, it's gonna take some time to catch on," he said. Nonetheless, Pepsi thinks they're on to something: "we think there's a real market there."