Tag Archives: beverages

Pepsi Buys Rockstar

Energy drinks are still a growth market, particularly as consumers shift away from sugary sodas and towards lower-calorie drinks. To gain market share, beverage companies are increasingly looking for new categories of drinks. And towards that end, PepsiCo recently acquired Rockstar Energy Beverages for roughly $3.85 billion dollars.

Acquisitions are a common way of entering new markets with new products. But acquisitions can also be problematic. Rockstar and Pepsi have decidedly different looks and branding, as well as different target markets and products. In addition to energy drinks, Rockstar makes sugar-free and low-calorie drinks, plus organic and fruit juice beverages.

The energy drink category is one that continues to grow, including new entrants such as Bang and A-Shock. And of course, Coca-Cola is in the mix with Monster. According to Mintel, energy drink and energy shot sales are approximately $13.5 billion; the market grew nearly 30% between 2013 and 2018.

Now that’s energy!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss acquisitions as a marketing strategy. When is this effective? When is it not effective?
  2. Show Rockstar Energy drink Web site: https://rockstarenergy.com/
  3. Show Pepsi Web site: https://www.pepsi.com/
  4. Rockstar YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/RockstarEvents
  5. Pepsi YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Pepsi
  6. Have students compare the two sites. What are similarities and differences?
  7. Discuss the risks and challenges that Pepsi might have with the acquisition.

Source: Associated Press; Wall Street Journal; other news sources

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Snack Robots are Invading Campuses

Robots are invading! Ok, maybe they aren’t exactly invading the entire nation, but they do seem to be infiltrating some college campuses. Rest easy though – these robots seek not to dominate, but instead to satisfy students’ craving for delivered snacks.

The self-driving robots are being tested for “last mile delivery” courtesy of PepsiCo, and have been deployed to serve students at the University of the Pacific’s campus in Stockton, Calif. The robots, developed by robotic company Robby Technologies, carry a variety of healthy snacks and drinks from Pepsi’s ‘Hello Goodness’ product line. Ordering and delivery on campus is easy using an app that is available to all students with a University of the Pacific email address. With a single charge, the robot can travel 20 miles to find a multitude of consumers eager for a quick snack.

The robots do have a normal work hour shift of 9-5 (sorry, no late night munchies) and deliver products to 50 areas around the campus. The robots are equipped with cameras and headlights so that they can navigate in rain and darkness. And, with six-wheels and all-wheel drive, curbs, rough paths, and steep hills can be handled with ease.

Students – are you hungry now?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the impact of robots and drones on marketing.
  2. Show a video of the Pepsi SnackBots: https://youtu.be/skUbYVmRogI
  3. More information can be found at Pepsi’s Website: https://www.pepsico.com/news/press-release/pepsicos-hello-goodness-snackbot-is-off-to-college01032019
  4. Information on the robots from Robby: https://robby.io
  5. Discuss how to build and use a SWOT analysis grid: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (internal and external factors).
  6. Break students into teams and have each team build a SWOT analysis grid.
  7. Based on the analysis, what are the issues and risks that might occur?
  8. Debrief by building SWOT analysis grid on the white board.

Source: Ad Week, other news sources

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PepsiCo Buys SodaStream

The beverage market is in a fight to maintain – and grow – market share of soft drinks. And, as sales of soft drinks slow, the beverage industry has been looking for new paths. One recent deal concluded by Coca-Cola was to buy U.K.-based coffee company Costa, giving it entry into the hot drink market. And now PepsiCo has announced that it is buying do-it-yourself carbonation company SodaStream International.

Unlike sugary soft drinks, SodaStream has taken advantage of the growing market for seltzer beverages. Consumers like that seltzers do not have sugar and are calorie-free. This gives consumers drinks that are healthier than the traditional soda drinks. Plus, the do-it-yourself carbonated drinks can be tailored for individual tastes with different fruits and flavors added to the drinks.

According to Beverage Marketing Company, sales of seltzer has increased nearly 42% in the past five years, while soda consumption is at a 31-year low (according to Beverage Digest). SodaStream now has 12.5 million customers, up from 4.5 million in 2012, and sales have increased 31% this year. The product appeals to consumers who are looking for healthier, more environmentally friendly types of drinks.

The beverage war continues. What will happen next?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the four primary marketing strategies: market penetration, market development, product development, and diversification.
  2. Show a brief video about the purchase: https://youtu.be/Idmv5onpbSs
  3. Have students view PepsiCo’s product assortment: https://www.pepsi.com
  4. Show SodaStream web site: https://sodastream.com/
  5. Which strategy is PepsiCo using by purchasing SodaStream?
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team select one of the four different strategies and explain why that strategy could be used to market SodaStream.
  7. Have each team determine the marketing mix (4Ps) to support their strategy choice.
  8. Debrief the exercise.

Source:  Washington Post, New York Times, Fortune, CNBC, TIME, and other news outlets

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