- Pepsi is introducing a cola-infused condiment for July Fourth to shore up a positioning as the preferred soft drink pairing with hot dogs, according to a news release.
- Pepsi Colachup was developed with the Culinary Institute of America’s business consulting unit. Carrying a sweet-but-tangy taste, the concoction will be available through sampling at several baseball stadiums on July 4 through partnerships with the Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Twins, Arizona Diamondbacks and New York Yankees.
- The marketer has also teamed with top competitive eater Joey Chestnut, who’s known for wolfing down hot dogs in record numbers, to strengthen a connection to the cookout staple. The holiday effort builds on a culinary themed #BetterWithPepsi brand platform that previously focused on hamburgers and pizza.
Pepsi is vying for a top-of-mind association with franks this July Fourth, a key sales occasion for packaged food and beverages as consumers fire up the grill. About 150 million hot dogs are eaten on the holiday, an amount that would stretch from Washington, DC, to Los Angeles five times over, according to estimates from the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council cited by Pepsi in the release.
Pepsi Colachup — a portmanteau of cola and ketchup — quite literally brings the taste of Pepsi and hot dogs closer together and might pique the interest of adventurous eaters looking to spice up their ballpark experience. The topping promises to wed the sweet, citrus notes of Pepsi with the tanginess of ketchup, with the product developed with expertise from the Culinary Institute of America Consulting, a past Pepsi partner.
This marks the first time a condiment has been infused with Pepsi flavors, though condiment-flavored soda isn’t unheard of. Exclusive in-stadium sampling will take place at Chase Field, Yankee Stadium, Target Field and Comerica Park on July 4.
Pepsi is pulling other levers to connect with shoppers over the holiday weekend. People who purchase hot dogs with Pepsi at any food service or retail location can text “FREEPEPSI” to an 81234 number and upload a photo of their receipt to get comped for a 20-ounce Pepsi product. Payments will be doled out via PayPal, Venmo and digital retailer gift cards.
Joey Chestnut adds an influencer marketing component to the summer push. The competitive eater has been crowned champion of the Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest, which runs around July Fourth, 15 times in the last 16 years. A 2022 victory marked his seventh consecutive win.
Pepsi rolled out #BetterWithPepsi in 2021 through a campaign centered on burgers, a bid to steal attention from chief rival Coca-Cola, which has more partnerships with the top U.S. fast food chains. The seasonal platform pivoted last year to instead put the spotlight on pizza, a strategy that included cola-infused pepperoni slices that were also made in association with the Culinary Institute of America Consulting.
Beyond the food pairings bent, Pepsi recently introduced a summer brand campaign that stars global pop icon Bad Bunny and features a tie-in with the Apple Music streaming platform. The marketer is in the midst of revamping its brand, with a wide-ranging visual overhaul slotted to go wide around its 125th anniversary in the fall.