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Mar 22, 2018 / Richard Hall

Reinventing drinks

I speculated some time ago about opportunities for selling drinks that are not drinks.

There are many examples of tablets, capsules, concentrates, powders, twist-caps and punch-caps that sell separately from, and can be added to or attached to, bottles for dispense and consumption.

Little did I expect a lead would be taken by one of the world’s biggest soft drinks manufacturers.

PepsiCo trialled its Drinkfinity concept in Brazil in 2014. Now it’s being launched in both the United States and United Kingdom.

The US prices are not low. The UK prices are higher. £35 for 1 reusable bottle and 16 single-serve pods. £20 for the bottle. £6.50 for a pack of 4 pods.

The pricing may change, but the strategy is of note:

• Re-usable bottles to answer growing concerns about single-use plastic.

• Online sales only to create a direct relationship with consumers and avoid a separate margin for retailers.

• Reduction in the transport of water in bottles.

• Acceptance of tap water as a potential consumer choice.

This is a radical break with retail tradition. One question I have is how much the environmental impact of individual home delivery will differ from the environmental impact of transporting water.

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