Pepsi is juicing up Mountain Dew and Bubly in a bid to beat Coke and LaCroix

La Croix bublyHollis Johnson/Business Insider

  • PepsiCo is targeting gamers with Mountain Dew and young mothers with Bubly in its latest attack on Coca-Cola and LaCroix.
  • "I think we have an opportunity in Mountain Dew to recover share and we have a huge opportunity ahead of us in Bubly in creating a whole new category of beverages," CEO Ramon Laguarta said on the drinks giant's earnings call this week.
  • PepsiCo recently launched Mountain Dew Game Fuel and plans to introduce more flavors and can sizes of Bubly.
  • Watch PepsiCo trade live.

PepsiCo is targeting gamers with Mountain Dew and young mothers with Bubly in its latest attack on Coca-Cola and LaCroix.

"I think we have an opportunity in Mountain Dew to recover share and we have a huge opportunity ahead of us in Bubly in creating a whole new category of beverages," CEO Ramon Laguarta said on the drinks giant's earnings call this week.

Laguarta shot down Coke's recent entry in the energy-drink category, Coca-Cola Energy, arguing gamers are seeking something else - a brand tailored to them that celebrates their passion. "The core energy consumer," he said, is "looking for something different than what brand Coke or brand Pepsi can offer."

"If you think about Red Bull, or Monster, or Rockstar or some of the other brands that are capturing majority of that space, they have a very different proposition," he added.

As a result, PepsiCo is positioning Mountain Dew as its fighter in the energy ring. The brand recently launched Mountain Dew Game Fuel, which it markets as "the first drink made by gamers, for gamers." The soda is intended "to put one foot into the energy category with a differentiated position more towards the gaming," Laguarta said.

PepsiCo is also splashing cash on Bubly as it looks to capture the lion's share of the burgeoning sparkling-water market. Bubly's sales have soared in the past three or four months since a Super Bowl advert starring singer Michael Bublé stoked national interest, Laguarta said, adding that it could become one of the company's next billion-dollar brands.

Perhaps in an effort to capitalize on LaCroix's recent challenges, PepsiCo plans to roll out new flavors and formats of Bubly.

"You're going to see mini cans, you're going to see larger cans," Laguarta said. The decision not to sell Bubly in plastic bottles, he added, positions it well for "the modern consumer, the millennial and the younger mother that I think is adopting this brand for her kids."

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