We tested Pepsi's soda for millennials against the cult-classic drink it emulates - and it revealed why the beverage giant will never be cool

Business Insider | Feb 13, 2018, 09.46PM IST

La Croix bubly

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

  • PepsiCo recently announced plans to launch a new drink called bubly in an effort to take over the sparkling-water market from beloved category leader LaCroix.
  • "I think we were made for the flavored sparkling water category," PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi said Tuesday.
  • We taste tested bubly and compared it to LaCroix - and the established, cult-favorite sparkling-water brand demolished Pepsi's newcomer.

PepsiCo is gearing up for war with LaCroix - a sparkling water brand with a cult following - in an effort to take over the $1.2 billion sparkling-water industry.

Last week, the beverage giant announced the launch of a new brand called bubly. The beverage gives PepsiCo a key opportunity to cash in on sparkling water's growing popularity - especially among millennials - as soda sales slump.

"I think we were made for the flavored sparkling water category," PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi said in a call with investors on Tuesday.

LaCroix is the clear leader in the sparkling-water market, and sales have skyrocketed in recent years. However, bubly may prove to be a worthy competitor. Credit Suisse analyst Laurent Grandet wrote in a note to investors in January that the brand has the potential to exceed $100 million in retail sales in 2018.

According to Nooyi, the drink is worth the hype. She said bubly "tastes fantastic" and has been beating out competitors in taste tests.

So, we decided to do a face-off of our own, pitting bubly against its biggest competition, LaCroix.

The Future of Retail 2018 by the BI Intelligence Research Team.
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