You know, things have really become mainstream when big companies start getting involved in something. And so it is with Pepsi and the growing cannabis industry. What did the company do? It has just announced the release of its new Rockstar Unplugged energy drinks infused with Pepsi.
Pepsi is jumping into the weed game with its new infused Rockstar Unplugged energy drinks that feature a healthy dose of hemp seed oil. Will this spark a race between major beverage companies to release more cannabis products? Stay tuned to life to find out. We strive to cover this emerging area and work hard to bring you the best news possible. To follow, subscribe The weekly THC newsletter for all the top news as it happens, plus access to premium deals on products like flowers, vapes, edibles, and more! We also have great deals on cannabinoid compounds like HHC-O, delta 8, Delta 9 THC, Delta-10 THC, THCO, THCV, THCP & HHC . Visit our “Best-of” lists to find them!
A little Pepsi
Originally founded in 1902, PepsiCo is an America-based multinational corporation that manufactures and sells food and beverage products. The current version of PepsiCo began in 1965, when its former Pepsi-Cola entity merged with Frito-Lay to form PepsiCo. How big is PepsiCo? At the start of 2021, the company had 23 brands, each of which brings in more than $1 billion in sales annually, and sells products in more than 200 countries. In 2020 alone, PepsiCo’s net revenues topped $70 billion.
While we are all familiar with the varied brands of PepsiCo, the best known is the company’s namesake, Pepsi-Cola, or simply Pepsi. First developed in 1893 and introduced as Brad’s Drink (as it was first developed by a guy named Caleb Bradham), it received its new – and continued – name from Pepsi-Cola in 1898, which became simply Pepsi in 1961.
Pepsi’s main rival has always been Coca Cola, which debuted a little earlier in 1886. Coca-Cola employed the actual use of cocaine in its drinks, hence the name of the drink which still sticks today. In contrast, Pepsi has never had narcotics in any of its drinks. These days, Coke relies on its addictive sweetness, much like Pepsi, with both sodas being two of the most popular drinks in the world today.
Pepsi Infused Rockstar Unplugged Energy Drinks
The cannabis industry has really taken off in recent years, with legalizations in many states spurring industry growth. Tons of new products are released every day, including cannabis-infused edibles and beveragesLike energy drinks. Although the majority of these products are marketed by smaller companies, the popularity of cannabis-infused products has certainly peaked, and we know this because Pepsi has just launched its first cannabis-infused product in the form of a energy drink.
Tuesday, February 8and, the company unveiled its line of Rockstar Unplugged energy drinks infused with hemp seed oil. The drinks contain other natural extracts in addition to hemp seed oil and are also infused with spearmint and lemon balm. Each can contains 80 mg of caffeine.
Said Fabiola Torres, PepsiCo’s chief executive and chief marketing officer for its energy line, “It’s a combination of herbs that can help us relax, but not sleep.” These Rockstar drinks contain less caffeine than other Rockstar offerings which contain up to 160mg to 300mg of caffeine. Said Torres in an interview with the New York Post, this product was born because about 91% of Pepsi drinkers said they “wanted a drink that lifted their spirits”.
These Rockstar drinks, dubbed Rockstar Unplugged, are now available in 12oz cans and come in the following flavors: Blueberry, Passionfruit, and Raspberry Cucumber. Prices are $1.99 + a can nationwide. This isn’t the first appearance of Pepsi-infused energy drinks, however. In April last year, Pepsi launched its Rockstar Energy + Hemp infused drink in Germany, which was similar except had double the caffeine of the US product.
To be clear on the product being marketed, the Pepsi Infused Rockstar Unplugged Energy Drink is not a CBD infused drink, but only uses hemp oil. It’s at least a party because it’s illegal to market CBD in food products since it is an active ingredient in an FDA-approved drug. Hemp seed oil is not, and is simply the oil extracted from hemp seeds.
Why Pepsi’s New Rockstar Unplugged Energy Drink Is A Big Deal
While everything about the PepsiCo Company listed above seems like unnecessary background information, the reason is simply to show the scale at which PepsiCo (and The Coca-Cola Company) operates in the world. There are also tons of smaller companies, of course, but they often go under the mainstream radar due to their size and often aren’t widely known. When companies like PepsiCo or Coca-Cola start doing something, it certainly gets noticed.
PepsiCo and Coca-Cola don’t have the ability to be like small companies that can offer products like CBD-infused drinks because they’re too big to get away with it. This explains the use of hemp seed oil, and no other part of the plant. What they can do is what is being done right now, capitalize on a new trend in the best possible way through legal means.
While smaller companies can offer products that aren’t completely legal (or are), without getting a lot of press, it’s a big deal when these larger companies pick up on a trend. That’s because it shows there’s mass appeal, and big business certainly hates running out of revenue for something the masses will buy. It says a lot about the climate of an industry when they do.
For example, when diet drinks first appeared, these were the companies that catered to consumers’ desires to lose weight or simply not get more out of the drink they were drinking. And the reason these products have become so popular is because losing weight is such a common idea among the masses. If it had only applied to a small percentage of the population, diet drinks would probably never have become a thing, but because it’s such a pervasive problem, it’s reflected in all the diet options offered by these companies.
It seems to be the same concept with this new entry into the weed industry that Pepsi is making by launching its Rockstar Unplugged infused energy drinks. Enough consumers have jumped on the cannabis bandwagon lately that this newfound consumer desire is now reflected in major companies incorporating cannabis into their products.
What to expect in the future
The first thing to expect is that since Pepsi just released a cannabis product through its Rockstar Unplugged Energy infused drinks, Coca-Cola is sure to have its own offering soon. In fact, in 2018, Coca-Cola was in talks with Aurora Cannabis to form a partnership, which never transpired. In 2019, Coca-Cola Monster drinks associated with Corona Constellation Brands. Although there was an initial consideration for a CBD drink, due to legality it was too much of a problem.
However, especially if sales are good for Pepsi’s new product, it’s almost certain that Coke will soon have its own version. And that’s exactly what works for current cannabis legislation in the United States. As regulations change at the federal level, we can expect these two corporate giants to use all parts of the cannabis plant deemed legal, to try and keep their populations of cannabis-preferring drinkers from stray to other brands.
What I also wonder personally is why none of these companies have created products that can be sold specifically in legalized places. Perhaps regulations currently prevent this, but other small businesses legally produce drinks infused with THC and CBD, and are licensed, sometimes in more than one state. While I admit I haven’t dug into why this is the case, I find it interesting that none of these companies exist in this capacity yet. Assuming they legally can, I expect that to happen soon too.
I also expect, sadly enough, that an industry currently built on family businesses will likely move more in a commercial direction with large corporations entering the mix. And products that are now often made with natural ingredients, and without as many harsh chemicals, will be replaced by the McDonaldized, shoddy versions that companies like PepsiCo and Coca-Cola are known for.
I’m actually surprised it’s taken this long for a big company like PepsiCo to make a move like this. Especially considering that the products are infused only with hemp seed oil, which isn’t as controversial as CBD and THC. It seems the second these trends start to explode, these companies are taking advantage. Even so, slow or not, this signals the start of a corporate weed industry, and in my opinion, a horrible direction to take. But that’s just me, you are welcome to make up your own mind. .
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Warning: Hello, I am a researcher and writer. I am neither a doctor, nor a lawyer, nor a businessman. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions expressed are my own. I do not give advice to anyone, and while I am more than happy to discuss topics, if anyone has another question or concern they should seek advice from a competent professional.
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