PepsiCo Inc. is trying out a fruit-flavored water brand called Drinkfinity, developed in Brazil and initially only available in that country, which combines a reusable plastic bottle with smaller flavor pods.
The company refers to the new product as a "personal and portable hydration system," consisting of pods that are inserted into the top of a reusable bottle filled with water and squeezed.
Drinkfinity is available in Brazil from anonline store offering a $34 Welcome Kit consisting of the refillable bottle and two 10-packs of pods in a choice of five flavors, including pineapple dragonfruit and apple guarana, as well as pod refills at $5.60 for five pods. The site warns, in Portuguese, "We've just launched and our stock will be limited for a while, so hurry and guarantee your Drinkfinity Welcome Kit." Other flavors include grapefruit yerba mate, pomegranate plum and banana acai.
PepsiCo, based in Purchase, N.Y., did not release any details on the 20-ounce bottle or plastic pods, but said they reduce plastic use by 86 percent compared to standard PET single-use bottles, and also reduce greenhouse gas emissions because the pods are smaller and easier to ship than bottles.
Beverage marketers are increasingly experimenting with customizable, made-at-home drinks as they look to satisfy consumer demand for variety. In 2011, for instance, Kraft Foods created a new category called "liquid water enhancer" with its launch of Mio, a brand of squeezable water flavoring. Coca-Cola later followed by launching Dasani Drops. Meanwhile, Coca-Cola has taken a stake in beverage machine marketer Keurig Green Mountain, which plans to launch a cold beverage system in 2015. PepsiCo, meanwhile, has begun testing flavors for SodaStream machines.
The Drinkfinity concept was developed by Hernan Marina, PepsiCo's business innovation, senior director, Latin America Beverages. As part of the development process, the company opened a Drinkfinity lab earlier this year in Vila Madalena, a trendy, artsy Sao Paulo neighborhood packed with ad agenciesand design companies. Opinion formers were invited to the lab to talk about topics "such as hydration, urban life, and the creative economy," according to a Brazilian news release about Drinkfinity's launch.
Luis Montoya, who oversees the new brand as president of the Latin America Beverages Divisions, said in the release "The Drinkfinity team had the freedom to explore possibilities through the lens of this exciting concept, and not necessarily from the point of view of the large corporation. This approach allowed us to work disruptively as a start-up company would."
The theme for the launch communications plan is "Thirsty for Life" and includes a one-minute video of a very active young man's day, from the moment he springs out of bed. He's at the gym, cycling outdoors, at work, and at the beach, periodically mixing a Drinkfinity beverage and sharing it with friends. There will also be a series of 50 micro videos, each highlighting different features like flavors, how the product is used and sustainability.
According to the site, Drinkfinity "is coming soon to more countries" and visitors are invited to sign up for updates on when Drinkfinity will be available "near you."