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By Seb Joseph, News editor

April 1, 2016 | 2 min read

Pepsi is out to prove that it can do craft just as well as it can do mainstream with a marketing campaign to introduce a brand it hopes will appeal to drinkers who want more provenance.

The arrival of the much-anticipated ‘1893 from the Makers of Pepsi-Cola’ drink sees the business attempt to replicate artisanal brands that are enjoying vast popularity of late.

Craft is king in the eyes of many younger, healthier drinkers, PepsiCo’s drinks boss Brad Jakeman admitted recently, which has seen his business create something that takes inspiration from the new breed of fizzy drinks, all the while acknowledging its founding year. It’s a blend of premium kola nut extract, real sugar and sparkling water and comes in two flavours; orignal and Ginger Cola.

The drinks are available in 12-ounce cans, as shown in an ad. In it, a soda sommelier pours what looks to be the perfect pour for the premium beverage, carefully adding lemon zest and a mint leaf to a glass filled to the brim with ice. While not shown explicitly in the ad, some shots will likely connote its use as a mixer in cocktails, a key area Pepsi will be looking to assert its distribriton muscle over the smaller players.

"We were energized by the food revolution, and inspired by consumer interest in bold and interesting taste combinations," said Chad Stubbs, vice president of marketing at Pepsi. "We were also motivated by our past, so we created these unique 1893 taste experiences to honor the passion of our founder, Caleb Bradham."

Fans were given a sneak peak of the product earlier this week when part of the ad was teased online.

Pepsi will be hoping the brand is enough to help ward off the advances of the craft brands. It attempted to do something similar in 2014, when it unveiled ‘Caleb Kola', named after founder Caleb Bradham before it launched its range of Stubborn Sodas, which was built on quirkier flavours such as black cherry and vanilla cream.

To complement its craft soda yearnings, Pepsi will also launch a ‘Kola House’ bar in New York’s trendy Meatpacking District that’s being aimed at the ‘kola' nut.

Craft Soda Pepsi PepsiCo

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