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PepsiCo Launches Drink To Get Share Of Billion-Dollar Sleep Aid Industry

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The food and beverage company on Monday unveiled Driftwell, a new drink enriched with ingredients to promote relaxation and help relieve stress. Driftwell contains L-theanine, an amino acid commonly found in tea leaves has gained popularity in wellness circles as a supplement to help promote calm, improve focus, and help sleep. The company plans to launch Driftwell in 7.5-ounce mini cans online later this year and in stores early next year.

With Driftwell, which PepsiCo classifies as “improved water,” the company is targeting a billion-dollar over-the-counter sleeping pills industry and relaxation aid market where people turn to outlets such as music, hot baths and meditation to soothe their nerves. It’s also a game for PepsiCo to compete within a small but growing “functional drink” category built by independent niche companies.

PepsiCo sees an opportunity – especially in these times of anxiety – to offer stress relief through a drink, Emily Silver, PepsiCo vice president of innovation, told CNN Business.

“We certainly see a huge need in this functional space,” she told CNN Business.

Functional drinks, which contain vitamins, herbs, herbs, and minerals associated with potential health or performance benefit, are a small but growing category in the overall beverage industry. Products such as probiotic-containing kombuchas, turmeric-based ‘golden milks’ and high-energy teas have gained popularity among consumers for their perceived health and wellness benefits.

“We think of beverages in three ways: taste, function and hydration,” said Darren Seifer, food and beverage industry analyst for market research firm NPD Group. “These functional drinks, they’re trying to hit that sweet spot in the middle.”

And as they grew in popularity, they sapped some sales of America’s biggest beverage companies.

“Overall, this wealth of beverage innovation takes away opportunities for big players like PepsiCo,” said Duane Stanford, editor and publisher of Beverage Digest.

Sales of functional drinks totaled nearly $ 31.7 billion in 2019, an increase of 6.9% from the previous year, according to data from Euromonitor International.

PepsiCo’s North American beverage volume has declined by about 1% per year in recent years as people drink less soda. At the same time, PepsiCo has made efforts to become less dependent on carbonated drinks and is trying to focus its business model where consumers go, which means launching higher quality drinks at a higher price.

Why Gatorade wants to analyze your sweat
It has also expanded its Gatorade sports drink brand into broader functional categories with the launch of new fruit drinks and nighttime protein powders.

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