Doctors and dentists are reporting more cases of clenched teeth and insomnia as the coronavirus epidemic takes a toll on the nation’s stress levels.
PepsiCo’s latest drink driftwell is pitching itself as a way to tackle the problem.
Pepsi employees thought of helping consumers tense up and relax before bed with an idea for a drink, as an internal competition was launched last year by CEO Ramon Lagarta. The concept prevailed, and the food and beverage giant began working to make it a reality. Emily Silver, vice president of innovation and capabilities at Pepsi’s North American Beverages unit, said it was the company’s fastest new product ever. Driftwell will be available on e-commerce sites in December and in grocery stores by the first quarter of 2021.
“I think we are launching it at a time when there is more consumer interest than before, looking at what is happening from a broader perspective,” Silver said.
The enhanced water drink contains 200 grams of L-theinine, an amino acid found in green and black teas and some mushrooms. Some studies have suggested that the components may improve sleep quality and help reduce the physiological response to stress.
Silver stated, “From a scientific and regulatory point of view, we feel really good about making that claim around L-theanine. In particular, we have the security in clinical data to prove this. ”
Dripwelves also contain 10% of the recommended daily value of magnesium. The drink comes in 7.5 ounce mini cans and just one flavor: Blackberry Lavender. According to Silver, this is the perfect size for hydrating before bedtime without the need for another trip to the bathroom.
According to Euromonitor International data, the functional water beverages market in the US last year was $ 2.97 billion, which estimates that their popularity will boost sales by about 5% this year. Relaxation drinks are a much smaller category, although their popularity in Japan suggests that they can become part of the everyday routine of Americans.
“It’s a nascent category, and it’s a clear one that we think we can build from one [liquid refreshment beverage] Perspective, ”said Rajat.
Smaller companies are making their own relaxation drinks by putting CBD in sparkling water and as a sleep aid or as a way to relax, although little research has been done to support those claims. The Food and Drug Administration still bans the inclusion of the cannabis compound in food and drink, and large corporations such as Pepsi have avoided any potential regulatory snafus by bypassing the ingredient for now.
Pepsi’s shares, which have a market value of $ 188 billion, are down less than 1% so far this year, as it closed on Friday.