When rebrands go wrong

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Pepsi Raw removed from UK market

Pepsi Raw, the cola made using naturally sourced ingredients, is being removed from the UK market, Pepsi has confirmed.

At its launch launched in 2008 the ’natural born cola’ was hailed by the then marketing director, Bruno Gruwez, as “the most significant innovation from Pepsi UK in the last 15 years”.

The brand has been struggling in the off-trade since its launch in late 2008, with the latest figures from Nielsen showing sales of £704,000 for the year ending June 26.

It had fared better in pubs and clubs, but in spite of this “great success” a spokeswoman says the “less successful” roll-out to the grocery trade has resulted in the decision to de-list the product from the entire UK market.

In July Britvic, Pepsi’s UK bottler, confirmed that the brand was under review.

The decision raises questions over Pepsi’s wide-ranging set of commitments, published in March, to move the food and drinks company firmly into the health space. Part of this commitment involved the company throwing its advertising weight behind its “healthier” brands such as Pepsi Raw, as well as Pepsi Max.

From this year Pepsi pledged that all its advertising would support the growth of no-sugar or natural products. Pepsi Raw is made with 10% less sugar than regular Pepsi and is available only in smaller portions - 300ml bottles and 250ml cans.

However, the de-listing of Pepsi Raw is unlikely to free up significant spend for its other healthier brands. Rather than backing the brand with a large-scale launch, it relied on building buzz and word-of-mouth marketing, as well as a heavy retail presence and promotional activity. Last year, for instance, the brand was believed to be the first FMCG brand to print a Twitter address on its products.

Pepsi Raw is the first new brand from Pepsi since the launch of Pepsi Max in 1993.

Readers' comments (34)

  • Never heard of it!

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  • The face of someone tasting it for the first time, Priceless!

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  • I discovered Pepsi Raw only last week at Asda. Now it is being discontinued in this Country. It is truly the nicest Cola I have ever tasted and I am really sorry that I will not be able to buy it again. I drink it with my Whisky and at 85yrs of age I really enjoy the nightcap. Don"t be daft keep on selling it in the UK

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  • Absolutely loved it. It was a treat for me and I'm gutted its off the shelf :(

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  • A truely great product ,I have now run out & will miss this .Just hope some independent manufacture can find a true cola to manufacture ,rather than the chemical rubbish we put up with .
    Then again I didnt know what I was missing until I found it the other month

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  • I totally agree with the comment made on 23.09.10. It is without doubt one of the nicest colas out there. Can't drink the other stuff, as it's too gassy. And at my age, that's the last thing I need.

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  • Best cola on the market, soo good when icy cold from the freezer.

    Waitrose sell something called Ubuntu cola from Sweden which is similiar in taste but not quite as good if anyone is interested.

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  • Am gutted too that this lovely cola is no longer available in this country, ikt was soooo nice, we will all have to bombard pepsi with our groans.

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  • Love this cola, I only discovered it a couple of months ago and I can't go back to the other stuff. If it was promoted it would sell!

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  • Ohhh noooooooooo. This is the best tasting cola and much healthier than the chemical alternatives. My teenage son loves it too. I completely agree with the above comment, if it was promoted more it would definitely sell!

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