PepsiCo is further entering the cocktail mixer market with its new line of non-alcoholic mixers called Unmuddled. Expected to launch in early September, Unmuddled will come several months after the release of PepsiCo’s first non-alcoholic cocktail mixer called Neon Zebra. While Neon Zebra was designed to appeal to younger consumers, Unmuddled is marketed as a “bar quality” mixer for at-home mixologists.
While PepsiCo hasn’t entered the alcoholic beverage category just yet – though it has filed a trademark application that shows it could eventually sell alcoholic beverages under the Rockstar brand name – it has recognized the growing pandemic-driven trend of mixing alcoholic drinks at home. Uber also took advantage of the trend by purchasing alcohol delivery service Drizly earlier this year.
Even with bars and restaurants reopening across the country, the pandemic has gotten many consumers accustomed to making drinks at home for the convenience and cost-saving factors. Many classic cocktails require a slew of ingredients and can be difficult to put together, which was likely a motivator for PepsiCo to launch Unmuddled in order to simplify the drink-making process through pre-mixed liquids.
Unmuddled aims to elevate the at-home cocktail experience for consumers seeking experimentation, flavor variety and a bar-quality experience at home, without the complicated ingredients or recipes. They will be offered in three flavors, Lemon Mint, Fiery Pineapple and Spiced Mandarin, and are expected to be sold at natural foods marketplace Fresh Thyme and on Amazon for a suggested retail price of $6.19 for a single-flavor pack of four.
PepsiCo is well-versed in beverages, but its expertise does not lay in alcoholic beverages. So it comes as no surprise that PepsiCo is making further moves into the alcohol-adjacent market. Between February 2020 and 2021, American consumers spent $304.6 million on cocktail mixers, an increase of 36 percent from the prior year. The global ready to drink cocktails market was more sizeable, valued at $714.8 million in 2020, should PepsiCo decide to enter the alcoholic beverage sector.
PepsiCo has been trying to reach consumers at various points throughout the day beyond the juices like Tropicana, its namesake soda, tea and water. In just the last year, PepsiCo has launched several beverages for different crowds including:
- Soulboost: a flavored sparkling water with functional ingredients
- Driftwell: a beverage for relaxation and stress reduction
- Frutly: a line of juice waters aimed at teenagers and young adults
Unmuddled mixers further extend that push by allowing people who want mixed drinks to unwind at night when soda or juice doesn’t satisfy the craving. Each flavor is designed to be paired with different alcoholic beverages. PepsiCo recommends the Lemon Mint flavor, for example, to be paired with tequila, gin or whiskey, while the Fiery Pineapple flavor works well with vodka, rum or tequila.
Beyond PepsiCo’s drink-from-home movement, the beverage giant is recognizing the post-pandemic work-from-home movement by implementing its “Work that Works” plan. The plan gives employees more flexibility to choose where they want to work and Pepsi offices will no longer be the primary space for employees to convene.