Daily Insights

Hot Cocoa in a Can

By: Mackenzie Baker | Dec 23, 2020

Pepsi embraces a new season by transforming a warm holiday beverage into an ice-cold soda flavor. The brand follows up its Thanksgiving Pepsi Apple Pie with the new “Pepsi Cocoa Cola”, a hot cocoa-inspired drink. 

Pepsi Cocoa Cola blends the classic taste of Pepsi with the chocolate and marshmallow flavors of a cup of hot chocolate. The atypical year inspired the beverage brand to add a twist to a holiday staple, noting that the special flavor could bring “unexpected joy to fans” around the country. Like Pepsi Apple Pie and Pepsi Cafe, its coffee-soda hybrid, Pepsi Cocoa Cola will be limited edition, with Pepsi not yet releasing where the beverage will be available or for how short a time as yet. The captains of carbonation did take to Twitter, however, to unveil the new drink using the hashtag #PepsiCocoaCola. Pepsi took an unusual approach to its social media promotion by telling viewers that if they want to try a batch of the beverage, the brand’s tweet must first get 2,021 retweets first. The retweet number is in honor of the new year, which Pepsi hopes it can kick off well with the release of Pepsi Cocoa Cola. 

Within hours of Pepsi posting about Pepsi Cocoa Cola it’s tweet clocked in the necessary 2,021 retweets. The quick response to the brand’s tweet shows how its audience has become familiar with its social media presence, and as such will quickly boost interactions. The tactic could help Pepsi grow beyond its current three million Twitter followers, as well as build up its image as a unique and daring beverage brand that consumers want to follow to hear about the newest flavors and drinks. With brands desperate to end this year on a sweet note, Pepsi’s bubbly cocoa campaign could help drive engagement from consumers both in-store and online, and inspire other competitors to taste-test new social media strategies of their own. The launch of Pepsi Cocoa Cola right at the end of the year also allows the beverage brand to bring its year-long unique flavors marketing theme full-circle, which provides consumers a chance to look back at the other peculiar flavors released this year. Doing so could strengthen consumer engagement according to a Gartner report and help Pepsi refresh its brand personality in what otherwise might be a stale year. 

With Pepsi Cocoa Cola, the beverage brand can further warm fans up to the thought, if not the taste, of fun and unique soda combinations. Additionally, the release could help Pepsi double down on engagement during the winter months and continue growing its folder of flavors.