PepsiCo to offer Pepsi Vanilla in bid to catch up to Vanilla Coke

April 10, 2003|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

PURCHASE, N.Y. - PepsiCo Inc., the world's second-biggest soft-drink maker, will introduce Pepsi Vanilla late this summer to regain sales lost to larger rival Coca-Cola Co.'s Vanilla Coke.

PepsiCo also is testing Fridge Mate, a slender 12-pack designed to fit on a refrigerator shelf, the company said in a statement.

The product is similar to Coca-Cola's Fridge Pack, which will be rolled out nationally this year.

PepsiCo's share of the $62.9 billion U.S. soda market fell last year as berry-flavored Pepsi Blue, introduced in August, failed to boost sales as much as its new drinks such as cherry Mountain Dew Code Red.

Vanilla Coke has won over 18- to 24-year-olds, among the largest consumers of sodas, since its May debut, William P. Pecoriello, a Morgan Stanley analyst, wrote in a report last month.

In addition, PepsiCo said it's teaming with AOL Time Warner Inc.'s WB network to produce a one-hour television show called Pepsi Smash. The show, which will feature musical performances, will begin airing in July. PepsiCo is offering 1,000 consumers the chance to win $1 billion.

In June, PepsiCo will introduce promotions tied to Universal Pictures' The Hulk movie.

Shares of PepsiCo, which also makes Frito-Lay snacks, rose 16 cents to close at $39.39 on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday.

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