Pepsi Shifts Market with New Reusable Water Bottle

The Drinkfinity pod system uses 65 percent less plastic than a standard 20-ounce bottle.

By Ethan L. Johns
February 20, 2018

Image: PepsiCo

In a consumer landscape that is increasingly influenced by environmental consciousness and a resistance to sweetened beverages, soda purchases have been dropping for years. With brands scrambling to react to new tastes and health research, PepsiCo’s newest brand is crafting up new flavors and aims to tackle an object so commonplace that one wonders why it hasn’t been touched before: the plastic bottle.

PepsiCo’s Drinkfinity ecosystem of products made its debut on Tuesday in the US, introducing American consumers to a new, novel way of drinking flavored beverages. The two-piece, low-waste system was first launched as a test in Brazil back in 2014 in an effort to learn more about the preferences of active, urban millennials.

Drinkfinity is, at its simplest, a reusable water bottle. The 20-ounce bottle—which the company calls a “Vessel”—costs $20 and accommodates a disposable, Keurig-style pod that can be used to flavor the water. The pods themselves, which feature two compartments—one for liquid flavoring and one for dry ingredients like chia seeds—are made with 65 percent less plastic than a standard 20-ounce bottle. They start at $5 for a pack of four and come in a variety of different non-artificial flavors, divided into “modes” for different uses.

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The “Charge” pods are for consumers looking to replace their caffeinated beverages. Options include “Mandarin Orange Charge,” with guarana, and the blackberry-and-grape-flavored “Açai Charge.” Each of these pods contains as much caffeine as a cup of coffee.

The “Flow” pods are targeted more towards the wellness-obsessed yoga pants crowd, touting benefits like “Vitamins C & E” and “Oats & Fiber.” These pods will be available in “Mango Ginger Flow” and “Lemon Spirulina Flow,” among other flavors.

The “Renew” pods have the athletes in mind. Forget the Gatorade and try either “Coconut Water Watermelon Renew” or “Pineapple Coconut Water Renew,” both with electrolytes for post-workout recovery.

The “Chill” pods round out the bunch with sweet tea alternatives for the pensive millennials. Contemplating climate change on a mountaintop? Calm yourself with “White Peach Chill.” Pondering the perplexities of post-industrial people? Boy, sounds like you need an “Elderflower Chill.”

To round out a drink tailor made for the present day and age, PepsiCo will donate $1 from each purchase made in 2018 to Water.org (mitigating the product’s potential success, the company has capped their contribution at $100,000).

So drink to infinity and beyond, until you run out of pods and are too lazy to order more.

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About Ethan L. Johns

Ethan is the Food News Writer at Genius Kitchen. An expert on the Parisian bistrot, he likes bitters and salted butters, and is no fan of dessert unless it's made with fruit. His hobbies include reading up on the history of borscht and attempting to roll perfect couscous by hand. Twits & Instagram @EthanLJohns