Daily Insights

Caffeinated Water Category Bubbles Up

By: Alizah Asif Farooqi | Feb 23, 2021

PepsiCo perks up its portfolio with Bubly’s first caffeinated drink and new line since its 2018 premiere.

Bubly Bounce boasts no calories, no sweeteners, and just a kick of caffeine, as spokesperson and crooner Michael Bublé declares in the company’s new campaign. The spot sees Bublé getting caught in a warehouse as he secretively swaps the Bubly label for his own surname, and fittingly pronounces the new product “Boo-blay bounce-say”, a continuation of a joke that began in 2019. The beverage debuts as the sparkling water category continues to soar, with a 118% jump in popularity between 2013 and 2018.

It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic presented a series of slippery situations for the food and beverages industry. Consumers’ early responses to the crisis resulted in unprecedented demand across most categories in the food and beverages industry. Over the course of the pandemic, however, consumer shopping preferences, brand choices, and content consumption have evolved. As consumer behavior shifted toward stockpiling groceries in March and as cooking and baking interests spiked during the pandemic, online food and beverage sales in April 2020 grew 37%, versus March 2020, according to Gartner’s insight report on the industry. Although financially rewarding at first, these major swings upended assumptions about consumers’ replenishment rate, the balance of supply and demand, and brand preferences. For Gifted brand Bubly, this meant experiencing volatility in its Amazon performance in Q2 as its average rank in the Sparkling Waters Best Seller category dropped 27% (from #26 in January to #33 in April). By taking swift, incremental measures in optimizing its assortment and its on-platform search spend, the brand was able to address these declines and reclaim an average rank of #24 in July 2020.

PepsiCo’s newest product fills many voids as it presents a healthier alternative to coffee, soda, or coffee-soda, a hybrid beverage making the rounds recently. Bubly Bounce comes in fusion flavors like citrus cherry and blood orange grapefruit, and follows a previous collaboration of flavors with SodaStream, which also starred Bublé. Marketing around Bubly Bounce will include the Bublé commercial, digital and social ads, in-store displays and a season-long integration into RuPaul’s Drag Race on VH1, a continuation of the brand’s years-long allyship with the LGBTQ community.

See more: Beverages , Bubly , PepsiCo