PepsiCo breaks into the bedtime business with a new drink designed to help people relax and fall asleep.
The drink, Driftwell, debuts in a new campaign all about alleviating the anxieties of modern day life. The animated ad depicts the difficulty of de-stressing during a typical day in 2021, complete with vivid illustrations of the Sunday Scaries, plus the side effects that seep into the next day after a poor night’s sleep. Driftwell is an uncarbonated beverage that contains 200 milligrams of L-theanine, an amino acid found in green and black tea that’s believed to calm nerves. The new product comes in 7.5-ounce, nightcap-sized mini cans and is available for purchase online and in grocery stores. The drink has no sugar, no calories, and of course, no caffeine, and comes in just one quaint flavor: Blackberry Lavender.
When the Coronavirus crisis came along, as did consumer cravings for food and drink of all kinds, according to Gartner’s Digital IQ Index: Food & Beverages. Another unexpected disruption? Sleep routines. Indeed, sleep continues to evade consumers, especially with escalating health concerns, job woes, screen time, and added responsibilities in the new normal. Not getting enough sleep doesn’t just make people cranky. For every hour of sleep lost, people lose one IQ point. Emily Silver, PepsiCo’s VP of innovation and capabilities points out that “a key enabler of good sleep is the ability to wind down first.” That in mind, a beverage designed to improve how consumers snooze could be the perfect antidote to the less-than-ideal tactics people have been turning to lately, like endless social media scrolling.
Soft drink manufacturers like PepsiCo have been investing in alternatives to sugary beverages for some time now, thanks to a growing demand for healthier options. For example, both Pepsi and competitor Coca-Cola now actively promote their sugar-free options, while the former recently featured pop star Michael Buble in its newest sparkling water spot. As the health craze continues, sleep is fast becoming the buzziest word in the beverage industry.
That said, brands of all backgrounds need to begin building up a conversation around the need for sleep and targeting the millions of consumers who crave it most.