Label-less Pepsi in Argentina If They Win World Cup

courtesy of www.adage.comWith the entire world focused on the FIFA World Cup this month, it seems as if Pepsi has gotten into the spirit as well.  Despite not being an official sponsor, Pepsi has been able to generate some online buzz with their support of the Argentine soccer team.  Pepsi has said that if the Argentine soccer team wins the 2010 World Cup, they will remove their labels (making their bottles naked) from their Pepsi soft drink for a week.  This is in response to Maradona,  Argentina’s soccer coach, stating that he will celebrate the World Cup victory by streaking around Buenos Aries naked.  More information can be found here.

Very smart and low-cost way to generate news and get people to talk about you.  However, a soft drink’s package label is often the most crucial piece of marketing because it’s the final communication to a consumer before they choose to buy your drink or that of your competitor’s.  If you can’t convince them to buy your product at this point, then the dollars go somewhere else.  It’s also what allows your customers to easily recognize your brand without having to look hard to find the beverage they enjoyed time and time before.  Consumers rely on heuristics and shortcuts for all processes to simplify their purchasing decisions.  Once you’ve grown fond of a particular product you are less likely to experiment with other variations save for a few reasons: either it’s sold out, it didn’t meet your product requirements last time you used it, or you are generally not brand-loyal.  In the last case, the label does not matter too much, instead it’s likely coupons or other price promotions that affect your purchase decision.  Fortunately, Pepsi considered these factors as well when they ran an advertisement to support the Argentina soccer team.  They will attach a sign on the bottleneck so that customers can still see it’s a Pepsi product and differentiate their soft drink from other drinks in the aisle or cold space.

Unfortunately it will only be available in Argentina and not here in Canada, and also only available if Argentina wins.  It’s certain to be a collectible item if Argentina wins the World Cup.

AriZona Arnold Palmer Now in Canada

BevWire just found AriZona Arnold Palmer in a convenience store earlier this week, and was pleasantly surprised it was a glass bottle.  Naturally I had to buy it – this drink is normally found in an aluminum can, and has always been in the United States save for a few small corner stores bringing it across the border themselves.  Apparently it has made its entry into the Canadian market now.  AriZona has launched two new tea beverages, one is the Arnold Palmer half tea half lemonade beverage and the other is a Raspberry Tea.

Not fully confident that the Raspberry Tea will do well, since every company already has a raspberry tea offering.  It almost seems like a copycat innovation for them, relying on AriZona brand name to sell the tea rather than the tea being good itself.  Not that the AriZona Arnold Palmer Tea is any different for relying on the brand name, but there has been such a cult following for this flavor making it likely to succeed more so than the Raspberry Tea.  And there aren’t too many half tea half lemonade offerings out there, making this a unique combination without much competition.  Nestea and Lipton are the main competitors in this ready-to-drink tea.  Nestea offers their beverages in both plastic and glass bottles, as well as aluminum cans.  However, their glass bottle flavors haven’t done too well (remember the Nestea Vitao series, which has all but disappeared from stores by now).  So that makes Nestea not a close competitor for AriZona.  Lipton on the other side has glass bottles but nothing remotely close to the Arnold Palmer flavor.  Furthermore, most of their innovations are in the plastic bottles (Lipton Sparkling, diet flavors, and carbonated flavored teas) so they are not too strong of a competitor for AriZona either.

That said, who knows if Nestea or Lipton will come out with a Arnold Palmer copycat (like how everyone has a Raspberry tea flavor).  In the meantime, consumers that were introduced to the Arnold Palmer tea before but could not get it in Canada can now rest easy – it will likely be found at gas stations and supermarkets as well as the local corner store.

Coca-Cola To Distribute Dr Pepper For $715 Million

In an agreement announced last Monday, The Coca-Cola Company will pay $715 million to continue distributing Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPSG) brands.

DPSG brands are largely distributed through Coca-Cola and Pepsi, and the one-time cash payments are part of a termination agreement that was triggered when the two companies purchased their distribution subsidiaries this year.  These deals appear to be really beneficial to DPSG, as they are one of the few beverage companies to see growth this past year in the carbonated soda drink category.  As a result of these deals, they save on infrastructure costs by having their products distributed from other companies’ trucks instead of their own.  This will allow them to spend more to market their beverages and hopefully gain more market share.

One interesting piece of information to note is that Snapple will now be distributed by Coca-Cola as part of the agreement.  It may not have mattered too much before when Snapple was a suffering beverage brand, one that was losing customers and market share to competitors.  However, the Snapple brand’s recent revival puts the tea back on customers’ radar with their recent marketing efforts (ie. The Apprentice’s flavor creations, increased distributive reach, new packaging).  At this time, it still stands to be determined where Snapple fits in with Coca-Cola’s other tea drinks – namely Nestea and AriZona – but it shouldn’t be taken lightly by any means.

Canada Dry White Tea Gingerale with Raspberry

BevWire walked into a convenience store the other day looking to pick up a Canada Dry Green Tea Gingerale (far left) and ended up picking up a White Tea Gingerale (left) by mistake.  I thought the red bottlecap was just a packaging update, but turns out it’s another gingerale flavor from Canada Dry altogether.  I must admit, it does taste delicious.  However, what are the chances that other people may have the same problem, picking up one flavor by accident when they meant to get the other one?  The two bottle’s packaging looks almost identical – only differences are the cap colors and the packaging’s edges on the bottles.

Not to diminish or take anything away from this new flavor of gingerale, but what is Canada Dry’s rationale behind a new gingerale flavor?  Didn’t they just eliminate their 2L Tonic Water a year ago because of sku rationalization?  If they were able to launch a new sku, would they not want to bring back the 2L Tonic Water instead of launching a new flavor?  My guess is that the White Tea Gingerale is a stand alone beverage offering (whereas the 2L Tonic Water is mostly a mixer) so this expands the Canada Dry product portfolio to help attract new consumers.  Canada Dry may also have launched it to support the original Canada Dry Gingerale and Green Tea Gingerale, though not sure if there’s any other company out there expanding and innovating on gingerale.

All in all, a great tasting beverage.  However, if Canada Dry did have a chance to release another sku on the market, BevWire suggests re-launching 2L Tonic Water.