PepsiCo India Holdings Pvt. Ltd on Tuesday introduced Pepsi Black, a canned zero-calorie carbonated beverage priced at Rs 25, as part of its plan to intensify focus on health and nutrition, reduce sugar content in beverages.
Pepsi Black will be available in cans initially and the company may look at bringing PET bottles in the next 6-8 months.
The company is also gearing up to launch a new 7UP with 30 per cent less sugar and plans to extend the formulation to its other brands
According to Senior Vice-President – Beverages, PepsiCo India, Vipul Prakash, “The company will roll-out a new product every quarter to widen its portfolio, with focus on lower-sugar and functional beverages.”
At present, PepsiCo sells Diet Pepsi, a low-calorie version of its flagship drink, in India. It had, in 2010, launched Pepsi Max, a sugar-free low-calorie cola, in India but discontinued it soon after its rival Coca-Cola Co. started selling Coke Zero, its zero calorie cola, in India in September 2014 and had been selling Diet Coke, the low-calorie version of Coca-Cola, few years before that. It also sells Sprite Zero.
Carbonated soft-drink makers are facing challenging times with slowdown in rural demand, and urban households switching to healthier drinks. At the same time, the industry is bracing itself for the Goods and Services Tax (slated to be rolled out in July), which has put carbonated drinks on a higher slab.