Neon Zebra Cocktail Mixers
PepsiCo will launch a line of cocktail mixers under a new brand, Neon Zebra, next month.
The food and beverage giant began working on the products two years ago, before the coronavirus pandemic closed the bars. Pepsi had already been following the trend of home alcohol consumption, particularly by consumers between the ages of 21 and 34.
“They really look for high-quality ingredients and convenience in their home experience,” said Emily Silver, vice president of innovation and capabilities for PepsiCo’s North American beverage business. “The traditional category norm is those big jugs, like those margarita mixers that you can buy for a party and then put in your fridge.”
In the 52 weeks ending Feb. 13, American consumers have spent $ 304.6 million on cocktail mixers, up 36% from a year ago, according to Nielsen retail data. In 2019, sales of cocktail mixers increased 1.2%.
Q Mixers and Owen’s Craft Mixers are among the newcomers trying to modernize the category. In 2019, Pepsi’s rival Coca-Cola launched its own line of cocktail mixers for dark spirits based on the soda of the same name, but the products were only available in the UK. And Drinkworks, a joint venture between Anheuser-Busch InBev and Keurig Dr Pepper, has created a bar appliance that makes cocktails using capsules.
The pandemic also accelerated the trend toward alcohol delivery. IWSR estimates that by 2024, 7% of the total volume of non-trade alcoholic beverages in the US will come from e-commerce. That same trend led Uber to buy Drizly, an alcohol delivery service, in early February. Silver said Pepsi is looking for some delivery partnerships to help promote Neon Zebra.
The company’s foray into the category comes in four flavors: margarita, strawberry daiquiri, mojito, and whiskey sour. Silver said those flavors performed best among both the general audience and the younger consumers it seeks to target.
“We potentially see an option to expand this line in the future, but these were the four that we felt had the most appeal from the start,” he said.
One 7.5-ounce can of a Neon Zebra mix is supposed to make two cocktails, with three ounces of spirits added to each drink. The mixers will hit the shelves on Monday.