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Business Insider reports that when PepsiCo launches a new soft drink later this month, described as a naturally sweetened soda called Pepsi True, it will only be available in one store.


The story says that the soda will be available "in 24-packs of 7.5-ounce cans, the company said. It will not be in brick-and-mortar outlets, though Pepsi said it plans to eventually sell True in grocery stores."

According to the piece, the decision addresses two issues for the manufacturer: "Pepsi's move comes against the backdrop of nearly a decade of declining sales of carbonated soft drinks in the United States, according to the trade publication Beverage Digest, as consumers have become more health-conscious. More recently, consumers have also shifted away from diet soda because of health concerns about artificial sweeteners."

Still, "the e-commerce space comes with risks as well as opportunities. Amazon could put downward pressure on prices in the consumer packaged goods category, as it did with e-books, analysts at Sanford Bernstein said in a research note in April. And Amazon's vast array of products could make it harder for brands to stand out. A Pepsi spokeswoman said prices for its other products sold on Amazon have been stable. The company says it decided to introduce True through Amazon after noting the success of other products such as its Starbucks Double Shot Light, Pepsi's top-selling item year-to-date in e-commerce. Pepsi sells the product through a joint venture with Starbucks Corp."
KC's View:
Clearly this makes a lot of sense for Amazon because it gives it differentiated product that nobody else has … which is exactly what every retailer wants. And Coca-Cola did a similar thing when it reintroduced Surge on Amazon, saying that the decision allowed it to evaluate the demand for it.