PepsiCo launched a line of juice waters called Frutly that is aimed at teens, according to a press release. The drinks are made with fruit juice, water and electrolytes. They have no added sugar or artificial sweeteners, and contain 60 calories per 12-fluid-ounce serving.
Frutly, which comes in strawberry kiwi, fruit punch and apple grape varieties, is available in single-flavor four-packs at grocery stores nationwide including Kroger, Albertsons and SuperValu. The drinks also will be sold in a 24-count pack of single flavors and 3-count variety packs at Walmart.com starting Feb. 15, and then roll out to Walmart stores in March.
The new product is the latest better-for-you beverage offering to come from the beverage and snack giant known for its signature soda and chips like Doritos and Fritos. PepsiCo hopes Frutly will appeal to teens looking for “flavorful hydration” that also meets parents’ nutritional preferences.
The addition of Frutly to PepsiCo's portfolio furthers the company’s investment in functional beverages, and increases its pursuit of the teen market, a demographic which is proving more influential in buying decisions.
The Frutly drinks tout a better-for-you combination of hydration and vitamins, which PepsiCo and other beverage makers have started prioritizing. In September, PepsiCo launched another functional beverage, Driftwell, aimed at relaxation and decreasing stress. Ocean Spray partnered with Amai Proteins in December to develop a cranberry juice with 40% less sugar. And last month, Hellowater announced plans with agri-tech company Brandt for a new line of functional beverages that will feature toxin-cleansing and immune-boosting capabilities.
PepsiCo’s newest offering is designed to capture the interest of Gen Zers who value health and wellness, a factor that businesses like Pepsico need to pay close attention to as the buying power of these shoppers grows. According to Mintel research from 2018, nearly half of teens between 15 and 17 years of age said they believe drinking soda is unhealthy. In a separate survey that same year by Farm Rich, parents said 30% of their weekly grocery bill is dictated by what, when and how their teenagers like to eat. These trends and health concerns have only been amplified by the pandemic.
A recent analysis by Research and Markets projects the global functional beverages market to accelerate in 2021 to a compound annual growth rate of 8.07%.
Despite Gen Z's growing buying power, there are not many no- and low-sugar, enhanced water options that specifically target that age demographic. In July 2020, Nestlé Waters North America launched Nestlé Pure Life Fruity Water, a line with natural fruit flavors, electrolytes and no sugar, sweeteners, preservatives or artificial colors. The product, with its Tetrapak carton decorated with cartoon fruit characters, was aimed at the younger side of Gen Z.
Frutly promises to offer a flavorful hydration option specifically for teens, more than half of whom are not getting enough water, according to a study by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health cited by PepsiCo in its press release.
PepsiCo’s launch of Frutly shows the CPG sees plenty of potential in the space, and the value of customizing a functional beverage for the influential Gen Z consumer group. Together, Frutly and Driftwell offer a glimpse into at least one facet of PepsiCo's beverage strategy: introduce products that specifically target a demographic or segment of the population.