- Pepsi will premiere what it calls a mini-docuseries that highlights the stories of Black chefs and the diaspora of Black cuisine in America in four one-to-two minute episodes, per a press release.
- "You Have to Taste This" kicks off on Aug. 18 and features celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson talking with chefs at Black-owned restaurants in the South about their cultural backgrounds, culinary trajectories and signature dishes. The launch is an expansion of Pepsi's "Dig In" initiative that seeks to support Black-owned restaurants through the pandemic and after.
- The episodes will be released weekly across social channels dedicated to "Dig In" and Samuelsson's YouTube channel. Through the effort, Pepsi is carrying out commitments to the Black community made last year by parent company PepsiCo.
Pepsi's latest digital content push sees the brand getting personal with notable Black chefs to promote its "Dig In" initiative and paint a picture of the diaspora of Black cuisine in America. In addition to Samuelsson's own Red Rooster establishment in Miami, the docuseries will spotlight Ben's Chili Bowl in Washington, D.C., Dukunoo in Miami and Slutty Vegan in Atlanta. While future episodes were implied, details were not stated in the release.
Pepsi launched "Dig In" earlier this year with materials to support Black-owned restaurants during and after the pandemic. Outreach includes a commitment by Pepsi to help Black-owned restaurants generate over $100 million in the next five years, business services, training and mentorship to foster long-term success. Through the docuseries, consumers will get an intimate look at the faces behind these restaurants, a move that could help to instill a sense of authenticity in the "Dig In" campaign. Docuseries have been used by other brands to obtain a closer look at societal issues.
The one-to-two minute length of each episode could allow the docuseries to fit in well on video platforms that specialize in snackable content. "You Have to Taste This" will be released weekly through Instagram and Twitter accounts dedicated to "Dig In" and Samuelsson's YouTube channel, the latter of which offers a pool of over 40,000 subscribers that could extend the docuseries' reach.
Samuelsson was recently tapped by Stella Artois in a campaign that auctioned off an NFT of his fried chicken recipe, reflecting greater interest from CPG brands in utilizing celebrity chefs to drive their campaigns. Kraft-Heinz recently partnered with "Top Chef" alum Edward Lee to promote a food-focused content push, and Estrella Jalisco teamed with Maria Mazon to spotlight its michelada product and Tastemade tie-up.
"Dig In" is part of parent company PepsiCo's larger initiative to spend $400 million over the next five years to help boost the Black community. Most recently, Doritos, a subsidiary of Frito-Lay which is owned by PepsiCo, committed $5 million to Black creators. These efforts mirror other purpose-driven moves in the CPG world as brands try to meet demands for inclusivity and racial equality.