Pepsi to introduce ‘stress-relieving’ beverage in the US

PepsiCo is working on a drink to combat high-stress levels caused by the coronavirus pandemic and help consumers sleep better, according to a report by CNBC.

Named Driftwell, the drink was conceptualised by Pepsi employees as part of an internal competition that was started last year by CEO Ramon Laguarta — the idea being to make a beverage to help consumers combat stress, and relax before going to bed.

The functional water beverages contain 200 milligrams of L-theanine, an amino acid found in green and black teas and some mushrooms — studies have suggested the ingredient can help improve sleep quality and reduce the physical symptoms of stress, which has skyrocketed as millions of people around the globe endure the lasting effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

It is the fastest new product to ever come out of the company, sources inside PepsiCo have claimed.  

“I think we’re launching this at a time when there’s more consumer interest than there previously was, given everything that’s going on from a macro perspective,” Emily Silver, vice president of innovation and capabilities at Pepsi’s North American beverages unit, told CNBC.

 “From a scientific and regulatory perspective, we feel really good about making that claim around L-theanine. Specifically, we have safety in clinical data to prove that it works,” Silver added.

Driftwell also contains 10% of the recommended daily value of magnesium. The drink comes in 7.5-ounce mini cans and just one flavor: blackberry lavender. According to Silver, it’s the perfect size for hydrating before bedtime without requiring another trip to the bathroom.

Driftwell will be available on US e-commerce sites in December and in stores by the first quarter of 2021, reports CNBC quoting PepsiCo.

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