April Fools’ Day is upon us, but Pepsi’s newest product is no joke. The pop purveyor is cozying up to confectioner Peeps to bring consumers marshmallow soda.
Those looking to treat themselves to a can of the plush new product won’t find it at grocery stores. Instead, the only way consumers can get their paws on the limited-edition pop is through a social media sweepstakes that Pepsi is currently running on its Instagram account for an undisclosed period. In a caption paired with a carousel of photos that depict Peeps-people popping open a can of Pepsi, enjoying it with their “peeps”, and even washing it down with a classic cheeseburger and fries, Pepsi requests its 1.7 million followers to share pictures of how they enjoy Peeps candy with the hashtags, #HangingWithMyPeeps and #PepsiSweepstakes. Finally, the sweet stuff will come in mini-can sizes and be decorated in pastel shades of sunshine yellow, baby blue, and bunny-nose pink that remind one of the actual and adorable Peeps marshmallows themselves.
Though Peeps and Pepsi might seem like more than a hop and a skip away from being similar brands, the two share more in common than just sugar. Peeps marshmallows come in a plethora of shapes including chicks, bunnies, hearts, ghosts, cats, reindeer, and more according to the season. But it’s the brand’s fluorescent yellow and wonderfully squishy marshmallow chickadees that have earned it icon status when it comes to Easter. The sugar-dipped delights have since been borrowed to brighten up cereal boxes, teddy bears, beauty sponges, and more. Pepsi possesses a similarly playful past, having introduced unexpected and whimsical flavors like Apple Pie Pepsi, Hot Cocoa Pepsi, and more seasonal surprises. It’s not Peeps’ first trip down the soda aisle either. The brand currently boasts Root Beer Chicks in addition to its food-based flavors, which include Cotton Candy, Froot Loops, Sour Watermelon, Chocolate Pudding, and Party Cake.
Nearly eight in ten consumers will celebrate Easter this year. That in mind, enticing shoppers with a new type of Easter treat that combines two cult classic products is a particularly tasteful move for both brands. Tweaking its promotion tactics to incorporate a playful activity on social media also makes for a short and sweet way to captivate bored consumers and build buzz around the product, something leading labels in Gartner’s Digital IQ Index: Food & Beverages practiced when the pandemic began.
If you’re still stuck on the fact that you may never be able to see or taste what might be Pepsi’s prettiest pop yet, fear not. Taste-testers have confirmed that “Peepsi” tastes “soft and gentle, yet still sweeter than standard cola” and that “Pepsi’s food scientists did a great job at embodying Peeps without overdoing it.” For consumers too lazy to eat a Peep, Pepsi’s marshmallow pop might be the next best thing.