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PepsiCo share price down, to sell its new Pepsi True soda exclusively on Amazon

The second-biggest beverage maker in the world – PepsiCo Inc. – is launching a new stevia-sweetened fizzy drink through Amazon that will contain 30% less calories compared to conventional sodas.

“American consumers want to make sure they don’t compromise taste,” Simon Lowden, Pepsi’s chief marketing officer for North American beverages, said in a phone interview, which was cited by Bloomberg. “Over the last two years, it’s shifted from a taste-and-calorie debate to a debate around taste, calories and artificiality.”

The new beverage, called Pepsi True, will be sold exclusively on Amazon.com. A spokeswoman of PepsiCo – Ms. Andrea Canabal shared in an interview that the sale of the new cola will begin later in October 2014. According to Ms. Canabals statement, the beverage will not be offered in brick-and-mortar outlets, although the company plans to eventually expand its offering to grocery stores. She also explained that the partnership between Amazon and Pepsi will allow the beverage company to receive customer response and gauge demand for the new product ahead of a broader launch.

PepsiCo. revealed that its new cola drink will be made with both sugar and stevia and will become the second big-name fizzy drink to be sold exclusively online, after the companys major competitor Coca-Cola Co. started selling Surge on Amazon in September.

As reported by Reuters, a spokesman of Coca-Cola commented in an e-mail: “While it seems there is still demand for the product, we arent sure how much or how quickly it will sell. Working with Amazon allows us to determine what the market for Surge really is.”

Pepsi explained that True will be available online in 24-packs of 7.5-ounce cans. With its 60 calories per can, it will compete in the “mid-calorie” segment with Coca Colas Life beverage, which comes in 8-ounce glass bottles and contains the same amount of calories.

John Sicher, editor and publisher of Beverage Digest, said for the Wall Street Journal: “There appears to be a growing set of consumers who graduate toward natural and want natural sweeteners in their beverages. Theres also a growing number of consumers concerned about obesity and health and wellness, so reduced calorie beverages with natural sweeteners would seem to be something that would appeal to consumers at this time.”

PepsiCo Inc. closed 0.47% lower on Wednesday in New York at $92.65 per share, marking a one-year change of +16.07% and valuing the company at $139.60 billion. Shares slid by 1.20% to €73.20 by 6:02 GMT on Thursday in Frankfurt. According to CNN Money, the 20 analysts offering 12-month price forecasts for PepsiCo Inc. have a median target of $98.50, with a high estimate of $108.00 and a low estimate of $81.00. The median estimate represents a +6.31% increase from the last price of $92.65.

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