PepsiCo and Britvic have teamed up to introduce the Pepsi Raw brand to the UK on-trade.

The companies said today (12 February) that the premium cola beverage has been created using an "innovative recipe that includes ingredients from natural sources, capitalising on the growing consumer demand for premium and more natural products".

The target market for the brand is "the sophisticated, urban market", said the companies, adding that the cola drink does not contain artificial colours, preservatives, flavourings or sweeteners.

Britvic on-premise business unit director Paul Linthwaite said: "As with many other drinks categories within on-premise, the growth of soft drinks is being driven by premium offerings. The launch of Pepsi Raw will capitalise on this growing opportunity for premium drinks, providing a new tier of cola product to meet desire and give consumers a new reason to enjoy cola."

PepsiCo and Britvic have worked closely with IP bartenders to create premium spirit pairings for Pepsi Raw, providing licensed retailers with the opportunity to generate sales of the drink as a mixer as well as on its own. The drinks will be available in glass 300ml bottles, the companies said.

Supporting the launch will be a targeted press and outdoor advertising campaign, extensive national and regional PR, premium POS and bar staff training around the Pepsi Raw brand and perfect serve. The brand will also be supported digitally with a seeding campaign and new website which features both trade- and consumer-focused sections.

Pepsi Raw will be available in "style led outlets" in areas including London, Manchester, Glasgow, Brighton, Birmingham, Leeds and Liverpool this month and will continue to roll-out among the licensed trade over the rest of the year.

Linthwaite added: "With significant investment in a targeted launch campaign, backed up by strong long term commitment to building the brand, we have real ambition to drive growth in the cola market through the introduction of Pepsi Raw."