PepsiCo is to expand into the functional soft drinks category with the US launch of Driftwell, a zero-calorie beverage that aims to improve sleep quality.
Driftwell, which will roll out in the US from the end of this year, contains 200mg of L-theanine, an amino acid often used in relaxation drinks. PepsiCo said L-theanine promotes “relaxation and de-stress” but without the after-effects of over-the-counter sleep remedies.
The drink also contains magnesium.
The brand targets the US$1bn-and-growing over-the-counter sleep remedy market and current trends for health & wellness. “[Driftwell] intends to drive an essential wellness conversation in North America, knowing that for many individuals relaxation and dealing with stress is a lifestyle shift,” PepsiCo said.
The new beverage, which came out of an internal pitch idea competition among PepsiCo staff, will initially launch in e-commerce before the end of this year. Retail sales in the US will start in Q1 next year. PepsiCo said it is choosing selected retailers and e-commerce sites that will “directly reach consumers seeking end-of-day relaxation”. A ten-pack of 7.5oz (22.2cl) ‘mini-cans’ will retail for US$17.99 online.
The launch of the blackberry-and-lavender flavoured Driftwell will see PepsiCo fully engage with the new wave of functional drinks that claim to alleviate ailments and symptoms connected to modern living. L-theanine is also found in ‘nootropic’ drinks, which aim to boost focus and are increasingly targetted at the video game community. Last week, Molson Coors Beverage Co announced plans to launch a nootropic drink along with other functional soft drinks before the end of the year.