Pepsi open­ing hip­ster eatery

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - BUSINESS - THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Pep­siCo's quest to make soda edgy has brought it to one of the great restau­rant towns of the world, where it will open its own joint with cui­sine “in­spired by the ex­plo­ration of the kola nut.”

The open­ing of the “Kola House,” in New York City's trendy Meat Pack­ing District, sched­uled for this spring, comes at a time when Amer­i­cans are cut­ting back on soda con­sump­tion.

In re­sponse, both Coca-Cola Co. and Pep­siCo Inc. have been at­tempt­ing to re­frame soda as some­thing more pre­mium. That has in­cluded glass bot­tles and mini-cans with a big­ger price tag.

Pep­siCo in­tro­duced a “craft soda” called Caleb's, named af­ter the in­ven­tor of Pepsi. Coke's new mar­ket­ing cam­paign, in a part­ner­ship with the tech­nol­ogy com­pany HP, has splashed Diet Coke cans and bot­tles with colorful graph­ics.

Whether an “ex­pe­ri­en­tial lounge” in New York does any­thing to trans­form Pep­siCo's im­age re­mains to be seen.

Seth Kauf­man, chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer for Pep­siCo's North Amer­i­can Bev­er­ages, said in a printed state­ment that the goal was to “cre­ate a mod­ern hub for con­sumers to share so­cial and im­mer­sive ex­pe­ri­ences that were an­chored in the ex­plo­ration of our cola's ar­ti­sanal craft and flavour.”

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