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Wednesday, 13 June, 2007

Diet Pepsi has a strong female-oriented marketing and branding strategy. The Diet Pepsi we get around these parts is lightly flavored and sweetened with aspartame.

Pepsi Max is an alternative beverage with a strong male-under-30 marketing and branding strategy. Although available since 1993, it did not come to the United States until 1998. The first American interpretation, called Pepsi ONE, was sweetened with a combination of aspartame and recently approved acesulfame potassium. ONE was more strongly flavored than Max, and much more so than Diet. In 2005, possibly in light of decreasing sales, Pepsi ONE reblended and repackaged into a somewhat less heavy beverage sweetened with sucralose and acesulfame potassium. Sales improved. However, ONE evolved into a dramatically different profile from Max. The new Pepsi ONE was the most caffeinated cola beverage available.

As of June 1, something called Diet Pepsi Max found its way to our shelves. From the labeling and what descriptions are available it may be the original Pepsi ONE formula with Panax Ginseng extract and just enough additional caffeine added to put it ahead of the new ONE. What would be the gender identity of Diet Pepsi Max? Metrosexual?

Why do I get the impression someone is overthinking this? Maybe it’s me? Anyway, remember when caffeine was as evil as smoking is today?

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