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Pepsi Just Unveiled A Crazy New Soda Machine


Pepsi has unveiled a new soda machine capable of making more than 1,000 beverages. 

The company revealed new self-service drink equipment at the National Restaurant Association show, Stephanie Strom at The New York Times reported

The new machine, Spire, was created to compete with Coca-Cola's Freestyle machine, Strom writes. It has the appearance of a large tablet or iPhone, and lets customers use a touchscreen to select flavors. 

The Spire is considerably smaller than the original Freestyle. Coke has recently released a smaller version after businesses complained, according to Strom.

Sara Eisen at CNBC tweeted a rendering of the new machine.

Pepsi's Spire is available in select locations and will continue to roll out this year, the company said in a news release

Examples of customizable beverages include Raspberry Lemon Mountain Dew and Vanilla Strawberry Diet Pepsi. 

Pepsi provided this photo showing different versions of the Spire machinery. 

pepsi spire machinery

Pepsi has been innovating products to better compete with its chief rival. 

Pepsi is the third-most-popular soda in America, behind Coca-Cola and Diet Coke. 

SEE ALSO: 13 Facts About Subway That Will Blow Your Mind

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These 10 Corporations Control Almost Everything You Buy



A chart we found on Reddit.com (click the graphic above to see a larger version) shows that most products we buy are controlled by just a few companies. It's called The Illusion of Choice.

Ever wonder why you can't get a Coke at Taco Bell? It's because Yum Brands was created as a spin-off of Pepsi — and has a lifetime contract with the soda maker.

Unilever produces everything from Dove soap to Klondike bars. Nestle has a big stake in L'Oreal, which features everything from cosmetics to Diesel designer jeans.

Despite a wide array of brands to choose from, it all comes back to the big guys. 

Now check out 13 small eco brands that are actually owned by giant corporations >

SEE ALSO: 7 Subliminal Messages In Corporate Logos

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Pepsi CEO's Mother Had A Brutally Honest Reaction To Her Daughter’s New Job


Indra K. Nooyi While interviewing Indra K. Nooyi, the CEO of PepsiCo, at the Aspen Ideas Festival Monday*, David Bradley, who owns The Atlantic, asked two questions that elicited as frank a discussion of work-life balance as I've seen from a U.S. CEO. Below is a lightly edited transcript. The second question was preceded by a brief discussion of Anne-Marie Slaughter's "Why Women Still Can't Have It All."

Q. You come home one day as president of the company, just appointed, and your mom is not that impressed. Would you tell that story?

This is about 14 years ago. I was working in the office. I work very late, and we were in the middle of the Quaker Oats acquisition. And I got a call about 9:30 in the night from the existing chairman and CEO at that time. He said, Indra, we're going to announce you as president and put you on the board of directors ... I was overwhelmed, because look at my background and where I came from — to be president of an iconic American company and to be on the board of directors, I thought something special had happened to me.

So rather than stay and work until midnight which I normally would've done because I had so much work to do, I decided to go home and share the good news with my family. I got home about 10, got into the garage, and my mother was waiting at the top of the stairs. And I said, "Mom, I've got great news for you." She said, "let the news wait. Can you go out and get some milk?"

I looked in the garage and it looked like my husband was home. I said, "what time did he get home?" She said "8 o'clock." I said, "Why didn't you ask him to buy the milk?""He's tired." Okay. We have a couple of help at home, "why didn't you ask them to get the milk?" She said, "I forgot." She said just get the milk. We need it for the morning. So like a dutiful daughter, I went out and got the milk and came back.

I banged it on the counter and I said, "I had great news for you. I've just been told that I'm going to be president on the Board of Directors. And all that you want me to do is go out and get the milk, what kind of a mom are you?"

And she said to me, "let me explain something to you. You might be president of PepsiCo. You might be on the board of directors. But when you enter this house, you're the wife, you're the daughter, you're the daughter-in-law, you're the mother. You're all of that. Nobody else can take that place. So leave that damned crown in the garage. And don't bring it into the house. You know I've never seen that crown."

Q. What's your opinion about whether women can have it all?

I don't think women can have it all. I just don't think so. We pretend we have it all. We pretend we can have it all. My husband and I have been married for 34 years. And we have two daughters. And every day you have to make a decision about whether you are going to be a wife or a mother, in fact many times during the day you have to make those decisions. And you have to co-opt a lot of people to help you. We co-opted our families to help us. We plan our lives meticulously so we can be decent parents. But if you ask our daughters, I'm not sure they will say that I've been a good mom. I'm not sure. And I try all kinds of coping mechanisms.

I'll tell you a story that happened when my daughter went to Catholic school. Every Wednesday morning they had class coffee with the mothers. Class coffee for a working woman — how is it going to work? How am I going to take off 9 o'clock on Wednesday mornings? So I missed most class coffees. My daughter would come home and she would list off all the mothers that were there and say, "You were not there, mom."

The first few times I would die with guilt. But I developed coping mechanisms. I called the school and I said, "give me a list of mothers that are not there." So when she came home in the evening she said, "You were not there, you were not there."

And I said, "ah ha, Mrs. Redd wasn't there, Mrs. So and So wasn't there. So I'm not the only bad mother."

You know, you have to cope, because you die with guilt. You just die with guilt. My observation, David, is that the biological clock and the career clock are in total conflict with each other. Total, complete conflict. When you have to have kids you have to build your career. Just as you're rising to middle management your kids need you because they're teenagers, they need you for the teenage years.

And that's the time your husband becomes a teenager too, so he needs you (laughing). They need you too. What do you do? And as you grow even more, your parents need you because they're aging. So we're screwed. We have no ... we cannot have it all. Do you know what? Coping mechanisms. Train people at work. Train your family to be your extended family.

You know what? When I'm in PepsiCo I travel a lot, and when my kids were tiny, especially my second one, we had strict rules on playing Nintendo. She'd call the office, and she didn't care if I was in China, Japan, India, wherever. She'd call the office, the receptionist would pick up the phone, "Can I speak to my mommy?" Everybody knows if somebody says, 'Can I speak to mommy?' It's my daughter. So she'd say, "Yes, Tyra, what can I do for you?"

"I want to play Nintendo."

So she has a set of questions. "Have you finished your homework?" Etc. I say this because that's what it takes. She goes through the questions and she says, "Okay, you can play Nintendo half an hour." Then she leaves me a message. "Tyra called at 5. This is the sequence of questions I went through. I've given her permission." So it's seamless parenting.

But if you don't do that, I'm serious, if you don't develop mechanisms with your secretaries, with the extended office, with everybody around you, it cannot work. You know, stay at home mothering was a full time job. Being a CEO for a company is three full time jobs rolled into one. How can you do justice to all?

You can't. The person who hurts the most through this whole thing is your spouse. There's no question about it. You know, Raj always said, you know what, your list is PepsiCo, PepsiCo, PepsiCo, our two kids, your mom, and then at the bottom of the list is me. There are two ways to look at it. (laughing) You should be happy you're on the list. So don't complain. (laughing) He is on the list. He is very much on the list. But you know, (laughing) sorry, David.

* The Atlantic co-hosts the Aspen Ideas Festival with the Aspen Institute. PepsiCo is an event sponsor.

SEE ALSO: 25 Things I Learned About Life By Age 25

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Coca-Cola And Pepsi Are Selling Smaller Cans To Make More Money


coke pepsi mini cansNEW YORK (Reuters) - About a year ago, Texas rancher George Krueger worried about his weight, and decided it was time to downsize - his Coke cans, that is.

Like increasing numbers of U.S. consumers, Krueger bet that by switching from regular-sized soda cans to 7.5 ounce "mini"-sized ones, he could make a dent in his daily calorie intake.

“It’s kind of a happy medium,” said the 62-year-old, who generally drinks a can a day, but sometimes goes for an extra one for more caffeine. “I can have my sweet fix but not feel guilty for having so much.”

U.S. soft drink companies are betting that soda drinkers like Krueger and their willingness to buy smaller cans, even for a higher unit price, will be a potential antidote to weak sales as consumers shift away from sugary soft drinks.

The mini-can is the latest move by food and beverage companies to boost their product offerings of smaller portion sizes that supposedly help consumers limit their caloric intake - even if there are signs that some end up reaching for another package or can.

Mini can sales grew 3 percent in 2013 while the rest of the carbonated soft drink category dropped, according to market research firm Euromonitor International.

Coca-Cola <KO.N> and Pepsi <PEP.N> said the cans were one of the few bright spots in U.S. soda sales in their second quarter earnings calls last month.

“Consumers are paying more and more attention to calories now,” said Simon Lowden, chief marketing officer at Pepsi Beverages North America, in a phone interview last week. While such concerns might have once helped diet drinks, growing health worries about artificial sweeteners have hurt that category, experts say.

Coke, the world’s largest soda maker, said there was double-digit growth in mini cans even while sales volumes of sparkling beverages in North America were flat. Smaller sizes, which include mini cans, accounted for more than 60 percent of the volume growth in traditional Coke.

Pepsi’s mini can business in the United States has grown 24 percent year-to-date in 2014 and was up 34 percent last year. The company said that this year, it has also seen a significant increase in the number of in-store displays of mini cans.

There's still a lot of room for growth. In 2013, mini cans comprised just 3 percent of carbonated beverage cans sold in the U.S., according to Euromonitor International.

Earlier this year, the mini can was featured for the first time in a television ad starring actor Cuba Gooding Jr. which ran during the Oscars, the second most visible time frame behind the Super Bowl, Lowden said.

Even beer companies are experimenting in the U.S. with smaller packaging. MillerCoors, a U.S. joint venture between SABMiller Plc <SAB.L> and Molson Coors Co, <TAP.N> offers 7-ounce bottles of Miller High Life as well as 10-ounce cans of Redd’s Wicked Apple and Coors Light Summer Brew.

Heineken has rolled out a new 8.5-ounce “slim” can, citing “explosive growth” in smaller sized cans in the international market.


The shift toward smaller cans “is almost the industry admitting that volume is not going to be growing very much,” said Ali Dibadj, a beverage analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein.

It is one way that companies can drive higher prices and larger margins: Consumers may feel as though they’re buying a cheaper, smaller soda, but they are often paying more per fluid ounce, analysts said.

Indeed, there is a price difference between mini cans and regular cans at retail. At a Fairway grocery store in Manhattan last week, 7.5-ounce cans of regular Coke and Pepsi were $4.49 for an eight-pack. Twelve-ounce cans, on the other hand were $4.89 for a 12-pack. That works out to roughly 7 cents per ounce versus 3 cents an ounce.

Teresa Votaw, 47, of Sugar Land, Texas, doesn't mind the higher prices. "I shop a lot at Whole Foods and am very particular about my children's diet," said Votaw. "I don't want my kids drinking sugary drinks, but I don't want them to be completely deprived."

Jennifer Harris, director of marketing initiatives at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, said that smaller package sizes can help reduce soda consumption. “Studies show that people drink whatever package it comes in,” she said.

That’s not necessarily the case with all food products, such as 100-calorie snack packs. A 2008 study by Arizona State University researchers found that dieters actually consumed more of the food in smaller packages than they would if it was regular sized.

Krueger, the Texas rancher, hasn’t lost weight as a result of the mini cans but said they are likely keeping him from gaining more bulge.

“If I was really sensible, I wouldn’t drink them at all, but I just love the taste," he said.

(Reporting by Anjali Athavaley; Editing by Jilian Mincer, Bernard Orr)

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Here's Why Coke Life And Pepsi NEXT Will Never Take Off In The US


coca-cola life

For consumers who think that regular soda has too many calories and diet soda tastes weird, big beverage companies have started manufacturing what's known as "mid-calorie sodas."

These sodas are destined to fail.

As the name suggests, these products contain fewer calories than a regular can of soda. For example, "Coca-Cola Life," which was piloted in select South American markets and will hit the United Kingdom in September, has around 89 calories per can versus 140 calories in regular Coke. Life is sweetened with a combination of sugar and stevia leaf extract, a natural sweetener derived from the stevia plant (which some people think tastes bad).

9328606499_755df71cc9_oPepsi has also entered the mid-calorie market with Pepsi NEXT. In markets outside the U.S., Pepsi NEXT contains a blend of sugar and stevia. However, in the U.S. market the soda contains sucralose, an artificial sweetener sold as Splenda.

PepsiCo has not responded as to why the ingredients in American Pepsi NEXT are different than other markets. We will update this post if we hear back.

Destined to fail?

According to beverage industry analysts, these mid-calorie sodas ventures haven't been succesful.

"We believe stevia-sweetened Coke Life may not see a launch in the US, as we do not believe it has performed well in tests and consumers have not responded to mid-calorie colas (as shown by failures of Pepsi NEXT and Dr. Pepper TEN)," analysts wrote in a July 2014 report by CLSA, an Asia-based independent brokerage and investment group.

Paddy Spence, CEO of Zevia, a zero calorie soda brand sweetened with stevia and monk fruit that is gaining traction in the US market, agrees. He shared some of his ideas on the psychology of diet soda and why mid-calorie sodas are failing with us in an interview.

"Increasingly we look to the products we're consuming for functional benefits," Spence told Business Insider. The "functional benefit" of diet soda is that it has zero calories. He says there is tradeoff between taste and this functional benefit.

"In soda what we find is that people are looking for either a full calorie soda that is going to optimize taste or they're looking for a zero-calorie product," Spence says. "So why would you ever have something with the taste of a diet soda with 10 or 60 or 80 calories? To those consumers, it's kind of the worst of both worlds. That's why we've seen products in the mid-calorie space really not capture the imagination of consumers."

coke life

Then why?

Coke could have ulterior motives in rolling out Coke Life in the U.K. According to the CLSA report, mid-calorie sodas are being launched in the European market not because they will do well, but because Coke has promised the U.K. government it would to lower its average calorie count.

"In the UK, Cola-Cola is a signatory to the government's controversial responsibility deal, which aims to improve public health, and has committed the company to reduce the average calories per litre in its range of sparkling drinks by 5% by the end of 2014,"according to The Guardian.

It's not likely Coke will get the same regulatory pressure from the U.S. government because of the large influence of the beverage industry.

We don't know if Coke Life will ever even get a chance at the U.S. market: A Coca-Cola spokesperson wouldn't give us a straight answer. They provided the following statement for an earlier published story: "As we continue to innovate and expand our portfolio to meet consumers' evolving needs and preferences around the world, we will explore the roll-out of Coca-Cola Life in other markets."

DON'T MISS: 15 Terrible Things That Happen If You Eat Too Much Sugar

SEE ALSO: Coca-Cola's Magical New Sweetener Might Have A Serious Problem: Its Taste

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Soda Companies Pledge To Cut Calories By 20% By 2025


sodaNEW YORK (Reuters) - The largest soda makers in the United States promised on Tuesday to cut the calories in soft drinks nationwide by 20 percent by 2025.

The pledge, announced at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting, follows an agreement between the American Beverage Association, an industry trade group that includes companies like Coca-Cola Co, PepsiCo Inc, and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc, and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, founded by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation. The two groups partnered on a separate initiative to reduce beverage calories in schools in 2006.

Soda companies plan to reach their 20 percent goal through education targeted at communities with less interest in and access to lower calorie beverages. They will promote products like bottled water and introduce and expand their offerings of zero calorie or lower calorie products. Initially, those efforts will be rolled out in Little Rock, Arkansas and Los Angeles.

(Reporting by Anjali Athavaley)

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Pepsi Just Unveiled A Stevia-Sweetened Soda


PepsiCo Inc for the first time is introducing a product exclusively through Amazon.com Inc as the snack and soft drink maker aims to expand its footprint in e-commerce.

The product, a naturally sweetened soda called Pepsi True, will be available on Amazon in mid-October in 24-packs of 7.5-ounce cans, the company said. It will not be in brick-and-mortar outlets, though Pepsi said it plans to eventually sell True in grocery stores.

By introducing True through Amazon, Pepsi says it can better assess demand and gain insight into where people are buying it ahead of a wider launch.

Industry insiders said the move illustrates how the food and beverage industry is expanding into non-traditional distribution channels like e-commerce as it searches for growth.

Kraft Foods Group Inc recently started selling Jell-O molds of university mascots and logos through Amazon and grocery stores. And other companies are using Amazon to test the waters when reintroducing a product. Coca-Cola Co said recently it would bring back Surge, a soda it discontinued 12 years ago, through Amazon.

“While it seems there is still demand for the product, we aren't sure how much or how quickly it will sell," a Coca-Cola spokesman said in an email. "Working with Amazon allows us to determine what the market for Surge really is.”

Amazon says the consumer goods space is one of its fastest-growing categories. Last spring it introduced Prime Pantry, where its Prime members can shop for hundreds of household items including soft drinks, laundry detergent and cereal.

At Pepsi, "online selling is a relatively new endeavor," said Simon Lowden, chief marketing officer at Pepsi Beverages North America. "You should expect online commerce to be a much bigger part of our proposition going forward."

The e-commerce space comes with risks as well as opportunities. Amazon could put downward pressure on prices in the consumer packaged goods category, as it did with e-books, analysts at Sanford Bernstein said in a research note in April. And Amazon's vast array of products could make it harder for brands to stand out.

A Pepsi spokeswoman said prices for its other products sold on Amazon have been stable. The company says it decided to introduce True through Amazon after noting the success of other products such as its Starbucks Double Shot Light, Pepsi's top-selling item year-to-date in e-commerce. Pepsi sells the product through a joint venture with Starbucks Corp.

Still, e-commerce is especially tricky for soda companies because of their agreements with bottling partners, which have exclusive distribution rights in certain regions. Lowden said that although Pepsi True will not be distributed through Pepsi's bottler system, bottlers will be compensated for revenue they would have received when purchases are made through Amazon in their territories.

Pepsi's move comes against the backdrop of nearly a decade of declining sales of carbonated soft drinks in the United States, according to the trade publication Beverage Digest, as consumers have become more health-conscious. More recently, consumers have also shifted away from diet soda because of health concerns about artificial sweeteners.

Pepsi True is a “mid-calorie” offering sweetened by sugar and stevia, a plant-based sweetener. It is aimed at people who want a naturally sweetened cola with fewer calories. A 7.5-ounce can of True contains 60 calories. That compares with 100 calories for the same-size can of regular Pepsi.

Stevia doesn't appeal to all palates, and soft drink makers have been trying to eliminate its bitter aftertaste. Pepsi said it spent three years developing True, drawing from its knowledge of stevia-sweetened colas in overseas markets and tweaking the formula for the U.S. consumer.

It is not the first company to launch soft drinks containing the sweetener in a measured way. Coke recently launched Coca-Cola Life, a sugar- and stevia-sweetened soda, in Fresh Market, a premium grocery chain, in four states. It said it plans to make the drink available in other locations across the United States by next month.

Pepsi plans to market True mainly through digital content such as videos on Amazon. It will also offer opportunities where consumers can sample the soda in certain markets.

"We recognize at the moment that Pepsi True is a niche product in our portfolio," Pepsi's Lowden said. "We want to be at the right size and the right scale to accommodate the 'mid- calorie' segment, which is still small today."


(Editing by Eric Effron and Douglas Royalty)

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There's One Major Problem With Pepsi's New Stevia-Sweetened Drink


Pepsi True

PepsiCo just unveiled a new soda containing a plant-based sweetener called stevia.

The drink was made for anti-sugar consumers seeking an alternative to artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame.

But there's a problem: Stevia's bitter aftertaste is widely polarizing, and as a result, many analysts have predicted it will ultimately fail.

Stevia is the same zero-calorie alternative to sugar that caused an uproar this summer when Coca-Cola began quietly adding it to VitaminWater. Consumers hated the taste of the new sugar-and-stevia blend and Coca-Cola was ultimately forced to return to its original recipe. 

Pepsi's new drink, called Pepsi True, also contains a blend of sugar and stevia. Compared to a regular Pepsi, the 7.5-ounce, 60-calorie drink has 30% less sugar and 40% fewer calories.

Coke recently launched a similar stevia-and-sugar carbonated beverage called Coke Life. Opinions of the new drink are mixed

Coke Life

Dr. Pepper Snapple Group has also been experimenting with stevia-flavored versions of Dr. Pepper, 7-Up, and Canada Dry.

All the major soda companies are investing so much in stevia — despite negative reactions to its taste — because an increasing number of consumers are rejecting artificially sweetened products. 

"The carbonated soft drink business has been in decline for about 10 years in the U.S. and recently, diet sodas have been underperforming the regular sugared sodas," said John Sicher, the publisher of Beverage Digest"Coke and Pepsi need to innovate dramatically and aggressively" to stay in business, he said.

Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Dr. Pepper will eventually find a way to balance out stevia's bitter taste, if they haven't already, Sicher said.

PepsiCo told CNBC that it took three years to develop the ideal blend of sugar and stevia for Pepsi True.

"It's taken us three years to get to a place we feel good about," said Simon Lowden, chief marketing officer at Pepsi Beverages North America. "No one is willing to give up on taste. Taste is king."

To help make the taste of its sweeteners pop, PepsiCo is now experimenting with a substance called Sweetmyx, which enhances the taste of sugar, stevia, and other sweeteners.

As they continue to innovate, stevia could be replaced in the future with other natural sweeteners such as monk fruit, Sicher says.

"This is just the first round in a lot of innovation to come," he said.

SEE ALSO: Here's Why Coke Life And Pepsi NEXT Will Never Take Off In The US

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Pepsi’s New Green Cola Looks Exactly Like Coca-Cola’s New Green Cola


When we first laid our eyes on Pepsi’s new green cola, "Pepsi True," we immediately thought of one thing: Coca-Cola’s new green cola, "Coke Life."

Here’s Pepsi True:

Pepsi True

It contains 40% fewer calories than a regular Pepsi and is sweetened using a blend of sugar and stevia, a naturally-sourced sweetener.

Here’s Coke Life:

Coke Life

It contains 36% fewer calories than a regular Coke and is sweetener using a blend of sugar and stevia, the naturally sourced sweetener.

Coke Life originally launched in Argentina and Chile last year, but has since rolled out to other territories such as Great Britain. Consumers there are split down the middle as to whether they love or hate the new flavor. 

Pepsi True was unveiled on Wednesday and will be sold exclusively to US consumers on Amazon.com later this month.

It is not Pepsi’s first attempt at trying to introduce a naturally-sweetened cola to market. In 2008 it launched Pepsi Natural in the US and Mexico, which was marketed as Pepsi Raw in the United Kingdom. It was discontinued from most markets in 2010.

Pepsi then went on to launch mid-calorie cola Pepsi Next globally in 2012, which contains 60% less sugar than regular Pepsi and is also sweetened in markets outside of the US with a stevia. In the US, it contains artificial sweetener sucralose.

So although Pepsi has had a couple of stabs at the mid-calorie market before the launch of Coke Life, Pepsi True marks the first time the brand has launched a green-colored product, which sits so far away on the spectrum from its traditional branding. We wonder where its marketers might have got their inspiration from …

SEE ALSO: Britain Is Not At All Sure It Likes The New 'Green' Coke Flavor

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Pepsi Q3 Profits Beat Expectations (PEP)


beyonce pepsi adNEW YORK (Reuters) - PepsiCo Inc <pep.n> said on Thursday that it was raising its full-year earnings per share guidance as its quarterly profit rose on strong snack sales.

The company, which sells Frito-Lay snacks as well as beverage brands like Mountain Dew and Tropicana, said that net income was $2 billion, or $1.32 a share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 6, up from $1.9 billion, or $1.23 a share a year earlier.

The company increased its full year earnings per share growth forecast to 9 percent from 8 percent before taking into account currency impacts.

(Reporting by Anjali Athavaley, Editing by Franklin Paul)

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How A Pepsi Ad Influenced Steve Jobs' Vision For Apple


steve jobs

Long before Steve Jobs convinced John Sculley to join him at Apple as the company's CEO, the two would meet to discuss the power of "experience marketing."

At Pepsi, in the 1970s, Sculley managed to capture significant market share from rival Coca-Cola by creating the "Pepsi Challenge," an ad campaign in which the company recruited people off the street to participate in a blind taste test between Coke and Pepsi and filmed their reactions. (At that time, Coke was by far the better-known soda, but when the labels were obscured, many people chose Pepsi).

Jobs loved the concept behind the Pepsi Challenge. "I said, 'Steve, what we learned is that it's all about the experience,'" Sculley remembers. "We never talk about the product details, we only try to capture the experience."

Clearly, Jobs internalized this lesson. In 1984, when Apple — now with Sculley onboard as CEO — introduced the Macintosh in a cryptic Super Bowl commercial, the now iconic ad was pure experience marketing.

"What was remarkable about that commercial, especially for a high-tech product, is that we never once showed the product or mentioned any technical characteristic of the product," Sculley says. "All we did was sell the experience that something exceptional was going to happen on January 24, 1984."

Judging from recent Apple ad campaigns and events, it's clear that 30 years later, the company remains a master at selling experiences rather than products. "In many ways Apple is really not a high-tech company as much as it is an experience marketing company," Sculley says.

Watch the video below to hear Sculley discuss the importance of experience marketing, and why Apple's masterful execution of the concept elevates the company above competitors such as Microsoft and Samsung.

SEE ALSO: Malcolm Gladwell Says Steve Jobs Became Steve Jobs Because Of This Personality Trait

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Pepsi Launches Basil Soda And Other Bizarre Flavors In Japan


pink milk pepsi

We’ve talked before about all the cool Kit Kats Japan gets, but the chocolate-covered wafers aren’t the only sweet indulgence with exclusive-to-Japan versions.

Once a year or so, Pepsi releases a special flavor for the Japanese market, too.

This winter the soft drink maker is bringing back a popular hit from a few years ago, with the return of strawberry milk Pepsi. 

We should clarify that not every time Pepsi decides to bring out a special flavor means it’s going to be an appetizing flavor.

Sure, there wasn’t anything too weird about orange-flavored Pepsi (although it was kind of confusing how they called it Pepsi White). 

Salty Watermelon may not have entirely delivered on the fruit flavor its name promised, but the company’s heart was in the right place on that one, too.

But on the flipside, Pepsi has also unleashed cola with the taste of cucumber and shiso (Japanese basil), neither one of which took over Japan so much as occupied convenience stores’ refrigerator racks, sitting unsold as customers reached for drinks with more appealing names like Pocari Sweat.

Here is a picture of Pepsi Ice Cucumber and Shiso:

pepsi cucucumber

Thankfully, it looks like “not crazy” came up in the rotation at Pepsi’s product planning division, as the next limited-time flavor is Pepsi Pink Cola, with the flavor of strawberry milk.

The soda was also available in 2011, and its revival represents a rare repeat performance for Pepsi’s offbeat lineup.

Pepsi Pink Cola hits convenience store and supermarket shelves on December 9.

Pick up a bottle for 140 yen (US $1.30), whip up a batch of pink curry, and get ready for the most girlish meal you’ll have this winter.

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Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi Gave The Perfect Advice For Getting Noticed At Work


Indra K. Nooyi You have to love the way PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi keeps it real. 

In July, she told us about her mother's brutally honest reaction when she told her that she got a major promotion. 

"You might be president of PepsiCo," her mom said, but when you come home to your family, "leave that damned crown in the garage." 

Nooyi shared a similar level of tough love in a recent interview with Fortune

The magazine asked her about the best advice she ever received, like it did with Warren Buffett.

Her reply? 

"Embrace tough assignments," she said.

This goes against the conventional wisdom, she says, since it's supposedly easier to take the path of least resistance, take the easy gigs, do them well, and move up the ladder. 

But that outlook is misguided.  

"The problem with that theory is that nobody notices when you do an easy job well," she says. "It's far better to challenge yourself by raising your hand for the toughest assignments and work to solve problems that no one else has been able to solve."

By demonstrating that resolve, you start to signal to the higher-ups that you can be brought into the center of the company.

"That's how you truly become a trusted leader inside an organization," she added. 

From our interview with a legendary headhunter, other recommendations for showing that you're a leader are looking good, amassing knowledge about your field, and being looked at as a contributor, not a taker. 

SEE ALSO: Warren Buffett Shares His Best Career Advice — And It's Ridiculously Simple

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5 Subliminal Sex Messages Hidden In Ads


Subliminal messaging has been part of advertising for a long time. And more often than not, that messaging is related to sex in some way.

Here are five examples of innocent products that hid some risqué material in their ads.

Produced by Matt Johnston

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Hundreds Of Companies, Including Pepsi And AIG, Allegedly Made Secret Deals With Luxembourg To Save Millions On Tax (AIG, PEP)


 Xavier Bettel

(Reuters) - More than 300 companies, including PepsiCo Inc, AIG Inc and Deutsche Bank AG, secured secret deals from Luxembourg to slash their tax bills, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) reported, quoting leaked documents.

The companies appear to have channeled hundreds of billions of dollars through Luxembourg and saved billions of dollars in taxes, the group of investigative journalists said, based on a review of nearly 28,000 pages of confidential documents.

The leaked documents reviewed by ICIJ journalists include hundreds of private tax rulings – known as comfort letters – that Luxembourg provides to corporations seeking favorable tax treatment.

Luxembourg officials denied any "sweetheart deals" in its tax system.

"The Luxembourg system of taxation is competitive – there is nothing unfair or unethical about it," ICIJ quoted Nicolas Mackel, chief executive of Luxembourg for Finance, as saying in an interview.

Pepsi, AIG and Deutsche Bank were not immediately available for comment.

EU state aid regulators are investigating Amazon's tax deals with Luxembourg, saying the arrangements could have underestimated the U.S. online retailer's profits and given it an unfair advantage, Reuters reported in October.

(Reporting By Neha Dimri in Bangalore; Editing by Rodney Joyce)

SEE ALSO: Luxembourg Is Not The Next Cyprus

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Arby's Made An Entire Ad Apologizing To Pepsi


Arby's has created an entire ad to apologize to Pepsi. 

The fast food chain, which sells Pepsi products in its restaurants, has a contractual agreement to feature Pepsi in at least two ads a year, reports Steven Perlberg at The Wall Street Journal. 

But Arby's recently realized it forgot to fulfill the obligation in 2014, WSJ reports

So the brand turned to Minneapolis-based firm Fallon for help. 

The new ad is devoted entirely to the soda and finishes with the line "Arby's. We have Pepsi." 

Here's the ad:

SEE ALSO: Check Out Urban Outfitters' New Store Design

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PepsiCo CEO Says Cola Has Lost Its 'Cool Factor'


Indra Nooyi

PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi conceded Monday that cola has lost some of its "cool factor."

Speaking at Beverage Digest's "Future Smarts" conference in New York City, Nooyi said that craft soda, like PepsiCo's own Caleb's Kola, may be the key to restoring some of cola's allure. 

"I think there is actually a huge potential for craft," Nooyi said.

PepsiCo launched Caleb's Kola earlier this year. Nooyi said it has a distinctive taste that is "catching on," but she didn't disclose any early sales figures.

PepsiCo, like other major soda companies, is suffering from an industry-wide decline in soft drink sales as consumer demand grows for healthier beverages with less sugar and artificial ingredients.

"Health and wellness was fashionable to talk about three to five years ago and today has become very mainstream," Nooyi said.

Consumers' idea of "health and wellness" over that time period has also evolved from a focus on diet drinks and foods to natural ingredients and exercise, she said.

Nooyi said the company is investing more than ever on "big bets" to keep up with changing consumer tastes.

"We are rolling the dice on a lot of new ideas right now," she said, while noting that the company is being careful not to take "foolish risks" or "ride on a single fad."

Dairy is one area where the company is experimenting right now, she said. The company also recently launched Pepsi True, a mid-calorie soda sweetened with Stevia.

SEE ALSO: There's One Major Problem With Pepsi's New Stevia-Sweetened Drink

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PepsiCo Just Revealed One Problem With Its SodaStream Flavors


Indra NooyiPepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi conceded Monday that the company's Pepsi-flavored SodaStream products don't taste like the real thing. 

"The original Pepsi, the original Sierra Mist, they are all great tasting products," Nooyi said at Beverage Digest's "Future Smarts" conference in New York City. "When I go to make my own it is very hard to replicate the taste."

She also said that the brewing process takes too much time for a sub-par taste.

"People taste the product at home and say it doesn't taste as good as Pepsi ... and [it] takes too long," she said.

PepsiCo is currently testing half a dozen flavored products for SodaStream in various markets in Florida. 

Nooyi's remarks may have been a subtle jab against PepsiCo rival Coca-Cola, which is partnering with Keurig Green Mountain to launch a SodaStream competitor with Coca-Cola-branded products. 

Executives from Coca-Cola and Keurig also spoke at the conference Monday. 

When asked about the Keurig partnership, Coca-Cola Refreshments President Paul Mulligan called it exciting and said he was confident there would be a market for the Keurig Cold machine. 

But Hank Flint, the president and COO of Coca-Cola Bottling Consolidated, seemed less enthusiastic about the partnership.

"I don't know why [consumers] would fix a single [Coca-Cola drink] in a pod when they can have an eight-ounce glass right out of the fridge," he said, echoing Nooyi's remarks. 

Nooyi said soda companies should come up with new flavors instead of trying to replicate existing beverages if they want to be successful with products for at-home soda brewers.

PepsiCo's SodaStream test flavors include Pepsi Homemade, Pepsi Homemade Vanilla, Pepsi Homemade Wild Cherry, Sierra Mist Homemade, Sierra Mist Homemade Peach and Sierra Mist Homemade Cranberry.

Pepsi and Coca-Cola are fierce competitors. 

When Susan Neely, the CEO of the American Beverage Association, was asked during the conference whether it's difficult to get the two companies to work together on initiatives, she answered bluntly, "The cola wars are alive and well."

SEE ALSO: PepsiCo CEO Says Cola Has Lost Its 'Cool Factor'

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The 10 Things You Need To Know In Advertising Today


kfc ad

Good morning. Here's everything you need to know in adland to set you up for the day.

1. PepsiCo’s CEO Indra Nooyi has conceded that cola has lost some of its “cool factor.” Nooyi said that craft soda, like its Caleb’s Kola product, may be the key to restoring some of cola’s allure. 

2. People are complaining that a cute fluffy animal ad from a UK biscuit brand could encourage people to buy — and then abandon — pets at Christmas. McVitie’s has already been forced to edit the popular ad to take out a scene featuring a rabbit, after people complained that it looked as though the animal was in a state of “tonic immobility” and could encourage people to place rabbits on their back, which causes them stress. 

3. A TGI Friday’s #Togethermas “mistletoe drone” marketing gimmick has gone horribly wrong. A woman had her face "nearly destroyed" when one of the drones got caught in her hair and cut her chin with its blades. 

4. General Mills relaunching French Toast Crunch after customers had been begging the company to bring it back. It originally appeared on shelves in 1995 but was pulled in 2006. 

5. Gérard Depardieu says he is “proud to be Russian” in this slightly terrifying luxury watch ad. The French actor, who was recently granted Russian citizenship, is the face of luxury watch brand CVSTOS. 

6. Video advertising has a major bot fraud problem, according to an ANA/White Ops study reported by AdExchanger. The study — which reviewed 5.5 billion impressions over a 60-day period— found that bots are responsible for 23% of all video impressions and 11% of display ads. 

7. KFC has released a cute John Lewis-esque Christmas ad called “The Boy Who Learnt To Share,” Agency Spy reports. The campaign, created by BBH London, tells the story of a selfish boy who hogs the arm rests at the cinema and writes his name on all the Christmas presents, but finally learns that sharing is the better option for everyone when he sees the rest of his family tucking into a KFC bucket together. 

8. EBay is to run an ad trading experiment next year that will see it cease all regular ad deals to focus on programmatic only for one week, The Drum reports. The e-commerce site will launch the experiment in February to help understand the extent to which programmatic advertising offers efficiency savings and insights. 

9. The UK Marketing Agencies Association has called for more agencies to speak up about unethical, anti-competitive business terms being demanded by clients, Digiday reports. The MAA wants to present a case to competition authorities to have laws changed around practices such as asking for upfront roster payments, asking agencies for payment to be considered to take part in pitches or having payment terms of 100 days or more. 

10. Facebook has rolled out a new feature that allows users to search for specific posts they and their friends have made. Facebook has not yet announced search advertising options, but one would imagine they are on their way. 

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Here's What Happens To Your Brain On Caffeine

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