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US: PepsiCo launches ‘Caleb’s Kola’ craft cola

The name is a nod to the pharmacist from North Carolina credited with creating with Pepsi’s formula in the 1890s, Caleb Bradham. According to the brand’s website, the drink is made with cane sugar, kola nut extract and a “special blend of spices” A 10oz (295ml) bottle of Caleb’s Kola has 29g of sugar and 110 calories.

The drink has limited initial distribution and is only being sold at select CostCo locations in Maryland, New York, Virginia and Washington, DC.

The industry tracker Beverage Digest, which first reported the drink’s rollout, said PepsiCo plans to eventually make it available at other retailers.

Commentators view this as another sign of soda giants trying new strategies to win back customers. Americans have been cutting back on soda for years, with executives blaming the decline on concerns over the high fructose corn syrup in soda, and more recently, the artificial sweeteners in diet sodas.

At the same time, marketers have noted that people are gravitating toward products they feel use real ingredients.

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