Coming Soon: Pepsi Natural


Update: Read our review of Pepsi Natural. Keep reading below to learn more about the background of this beverage.


While we've been talking quite a bit about the upcoming April rollout of Pepsi Throwback and Mountain Dew Throwback, it appears another beverage from Pepsi may be of interest: Pepsi Natural.

Pepsi Natural
(Source: Pepsi-Cola North America Beverages)

The Official Spin

Per a press release from Pepsi-Cola North American Beverages that arrived today:

An all-new premium cola, Pepsi Natural is made with all-natural ingredients, including lightly sparkling water, natural sugar, natural caramel and kola nut extract. The amber-hued cola gets its color from natural caramel and natural apple extract. From the amount of bubbles to the foam that rises to the top of beverage when it's poured, Pepsi Natural offers a brand-new cola experience.

Pepsi Natural is packaged in a sleek 12-oz. glass bottle and is available in single-serve and 4-packs initially in the premium and/or natural food aisles of retail outlets in the following ten regional markets; Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Las Vegas and New York.

With this announcement, I contacted Nicole Bradley of Pepsi-Cola North America Beverages for some clarification regarding Pepsi Natural.

1. What is the official release date for Pepsi Natural?

Per the press release, the launch window is "March and April". Pepsi noted that Pepsi Natural started appearing on store shelves this week.

2. How long with Pepsi Natural be around?

Unlike Pepsi Throwback and Mountain Dew Throwback, which have a limited release window, "Pepsi Natural is not a limited time beverage," per Ms. Bradley.

3. What will the packaging look like?

Per the press release, 12 oz. glass bottles will be used to hold Pepsi Natural. These will be available individually or as part of a 4-pack. Natural will not be available in any other sizes or containers at this time.

Pepsi Natural
(Source: Pepsi-Cola North America Beverages)

4. What type of sugar will be used in Pepsi Natural?

The press release noted the use of "natural sugar," but what exactly does this mean. After additional clarification, Pepsi explained that this a "blend of cane and beet sugar." This is the exact same type of sweeteners being used in Pepsi Throwback and Mountain Dew Throwback. To learn more about the differences between cane sugar and beet sugar, take a look our our explanation in the Throwback overview.

5. Is Pepsi Natural Kosher?

Like Pepsi Throwback, Ms. Bradley notes that Pepsi Natural is NOT Kosher. You'll have to stick with Kosher for Passover Pepsi for those dietary needs.

6. Is Pepsi Natural the same as Pepsi Raw?

Last year, Pepsi released Pepsi Raw in the United Kingdom, a natural take on their beverage. Pepsi Natural seems to be very similar to Pepsi Raw, but is it the same?

I asked Pepsi this question, and they replied that "the formulas for Pepsi Natural and Pepsi Raw are similar but not the same." Just how similar are they? Let's take a look at the ingredients for both:

Pepsi Raw
Sparkling water, cane sugar, apple extract, colour (plain caramel), natural plant extracts (including natural caffeine and kola nut extract), citric, tartaric, and lactic acids, stabiliser, gum arabic and thickener, xanthan gum

Pepsi Natural
Sparkling water, sugar, natural apple extract (color), carmel color, citric acid, caffeine, acacia gum, tartaric acid, lactic acid, natural flavor, kola nut extract.

The obvious difference is the use of cane sugar in Pepsi Raw vs. the combination of cane/beet sugar in Pepsi Natural.

Comparing the caloric count, Pepsi Natural has 150 calories per serving (12 oz bottle). A 250 ml can of UK Pepsi Raw claims 100 kJ per 100 ml serving. Doing the math and fun conversion from metric, it would seem that Pepsi Raw breaks down to 11.86 calories/oz., while Pepsi Natural has 12.5 calories/oz. So they are pretty close, but not exactly the same.

7. How much caffeine is in Pepsi Natural?

It breaks down to 3.2 mg/oz., which puts it on par with regular Pepsi (also 3.2 mg/oz.). By comparison, a drink like Mountain Dew contains 4.5 mg/oz.

8. How does Pepsi Natural compare to Red Bull Simply Cola?

In March 2008, it was announced that Red Bull — yeah, the energy drink — was launching a "natural cola" called Red Bull Simply Cola. We reviewed this drink in November 2008 and found it to be decent, but not exceptional. Our larger question was "why?" regarding Red Bull's move into the niche soda market. With Pepsi Natural now here, the two drinks are probably going to be compared often. Here's a look at both ingredient lists side-by-side:

Red Bull Simply Cola
Water, sugar, carbon dioxide, natural flavor (caramel), natural flavors from plant extracts (galangal, vanilla, mustard seed, lime, kola nut, cacao, licorice, cinnamon, lemon, ginger, coca leaf, orange, corn mint, pine, cardamom, mace, clove), lemon juice concentrate, caffeine from coffee beans

Pepsi Natural
Sparkling water, sugar, natural apple extract (color), carmel color, citric acid, caffeine, acacia gum, tartaric acid, lactic acid, natural flavor, kola nut extract.

From a caffeine perspective, Red Bull Simply Cola contains 3.8 mg/oz. of caffeine, while Pepsi Natural has 3.2 mg/oz. In both cases, those are comparable numbers to Coca-Cola Classic (2.9 mg/oz.) and Pepsi (3.2 mg/oz.).

We haven't had a chance to do a side-by-side taste yet, so we can't comment on the taste comparisons.

9. What's the history of Pepsi Natural?

Well, as mentioned before, Pepsi Raw was released in the United Kingdom in early 2008 — and seems to have a lot in common with Pepsi Natural. This was followed by Pepsi Retro in Mexico. These, of course, were special releases beyond the seasonal and imported takes on "real sugar" soda found in the likes of Mexican Coke, Kosher Coke, Kosher Pepsi.

As far as the origins, we can learn a little more about this beverage by poking around the United States Patent and Trademark Office's Trademark Electronic Search System. For example, we learn that the request for trademark on the name (Pepsi Natural) was filed way back in December 8, 2006, with extensions filed last February and September. In 2008, they also filed for a trademark on a plural version of the name (Pepsi Naturals)… April 7, 2008 to be exact. The opposition period for this mark has completed and a Notice of Allowance has been issued as of October 7, 2008, which means that as soon as paperwork and payment are filed, a patent/trademark will be issued. While it does not seem that Pepsi is going to use this mark right now, I would speculate that the plural version could be used for an entire line of "natural" soft drinks.

Pepsi also filed 3 applications for visual marks regarding the Pepsi Natural brand. The first was filed November 24, 2008, which seems to just revolve around the Pepsi Natural logo itself (Serial Number 77620885)… which showcases the new Pepsi logo.

Pepsi Natural
(Source: uspto.gov)

It's noted that the colors brown and tan are claimed as unique features of this mark, which is described as "a tan globe device containing three fields whereby the middle field divides the globe and beneath the globe device are the words "Pepsi" and "Natural" in tan stylized letters. The background is brown."

Another visual mark was filed on November 24, 2008, which appears to be a derivative on the logo design with additional background images, probably for use in branding and marketing (Serial Number 77620987). Note the reference to "ovals" in this official description: "The mark consists of a tan globe device containing three fields whereby the middle field divides the globe and beneath the globe device are the words "Pepsi" and "Natural" in tan stylized letters. Behind these elements on the upper right portion of the mark are dark brown ovals configured in a leaf pattern. The background is light brown."

Pepsi Natural
(Source: uspto.gov)

Finally, we have a mark filed December 12, 2008, that revolves around the bottle design (Serial Number 77638765).

Pepsi Natural
(Source: uspto.gov)

The mark is described as "a tan globe device containing three fields whereby the middle field divides the globe and beneath the globe device are the words "Pepsi" and "Natural" in tan stylized letters. These elements are superimposed over a light brown bottle design." Wait, light brown bottle? Not clear? The images seen elsewhere on the Web seem to indicate a clear bottle, so perhaps this is just referring to the bottle design being used as a mark, not the bottle itself.

So, with Pepsi Throwback, Mountain Dew Throwback, and Pepsi Natural coming, the next few months are shaping up to be really interesting in the beverage world!

Comments

  1. ugh, no Boston! damn you, test markets!

    Pepsi, please just sell this everywhere.

  2. Isn't a "natural soda" an oxymoron? ;)

  3. pepsi natural has been available at a few Target stores in MN for the last week or two. It's hidden on an end-cap. comes in a 4 pack of glass bottles for about $4.50. I've tried it, it's pretty decent. Along the lines of some of the other natural colas I've tried (Boylan's, Red Bull Cola, etc).

  4. fernlaplante says:

    I am looking forward to a Pepsi Natural and Pepsi Throwback taste test in my house!

  5. I bought some yesterday! I thought it was pretty good. It has a definite old-school feel to it.

  6. This is the first new drink in a long while that I am actually want to buy and try. Really great design as well

  7. Forgot to mention really good detailed reporting on this release

  8. I had pepsi natural yesterday. I thought it would be like mexican coke, but no, I thought it was pretty bad. tasted like apple soda but greasier. I will indefinitely stick to mexican cokes.

  9. Larry Cole says:

    Tried Pepsi Natural after giving up Pepsi and all other colas five years ago because of the corn fructose and all the acidity and unappetisingly intense and unfriendly tase. LOVE IT. I am happily back in the Pepsi saddle and will stay in it as long as I can get this lovely, smooth (and memories of my Pepsi childhood) flavor. You make it, Pepsi, and this author and university professor will drink, write and teach it. LC

  10. I just bough a 12 pack at costco. After refrigerating it my wife and I tried it and noted it's rusty nail taste. It's like moxie mixed with pepsi. However, after pouring it on ice it is much better. However, the wife is still unimpressed. I would not buy it again. I am glad they are bringing "sugar" back, but can they just release the original recipe?

  11. I just had a bottle from a Fred Meyers in Portland, OR — it's really good — BUT it was on sale for $4.29 for a 4 pack — the retail price was $12.49 or something like that. No way would I pay much more than $4.29 — plus Blue Sky had two 6 packs for $5 bucks — and there cola is pretty good too.

    Can't find any Jones Soda Cola in Portland — have emailed them and called them and don't get anywhere with them — with the huge cola market they just focus on the the fruity/odd flavors – guess that works for them

  12. I think one of the best aspects of Pepsi Natural is that they're finally using GLASS BOTTLES again.. They need to do this across the board. I'm not saying REPLACE plastic, just make glass available for those of us that hate drink metal and plastics leavings.

  13. Is this like Pepsi Throwback?

  14. As a matter of fact, I'm drinking it right now. The taste compared to the normal isn't all that different, although it does feel slightly better in the mouth. The design is very nice as well.

  15. I second Larry Cole. I grew up on Pepsi, and "Natural" tastes very much like the Pepsi back then. Nice foam if you pour it over ice.

    I've been a Coke fan for many years, regular Pepsi just doesnt get it for me. Try some, especially if you're 50 plus!

  16. Safeway stores have had a deal that ends today where you get 2 bottles and a full size bag of Doritos for $1.99. So I picked up quite a few. I only noticed the apple essence on the first bottle. I have been drinking the rest of them over ice and I can't get enough of this stuff. I gave up the plastic bottle sodas years ago but drink coke and pepsi from fountain machines all day every day. I'll definitely be keeping soda in the fridge once again!

  17. I LOVE IT!!! It's the best soda I've had in years, most definitly! It can be hard to find though, I've only seen it in one place so far.

  18. How will this new product be packaged? I've got an excellent 'natural' package that will be perfect for this new line.

  19. I am already addicted to this all natural Pepsi.
    I don't want to see it taken off the market

  20. The Natural sugar they are using is the dangerous GMO product which alters your gut DNA. It can possibly cause autoimmune disease. Look into GMO, educate yourself.

  21. Pepsi Natural is also sold at Costco in a 12 pack box for $8.99.

  22. Jerry Norton says:

    I've been carrying around a 50¢ off coupon they emailed me for weeks now. Pepsi Natural doesn't seem to be available in my Southern Utah market. I had wanted to go back to something made from the actual cola nut, as there is probably some nutritive value. But, at the price Raquel quotes, even from Costco, I'll probably just stick with the regular stuff. I'd love to try it though. There's probably a real market for a back to basics product. Too bad no one can compete with the soft drinks megagiants.

  23. waterRules says:

    Where can one buy this? (i.e. region, state, city… country??)

  24. MattyFoFatty says:

    At a Costco a few Saturday's back when they had all the sample tables set up (or as I call it, "free lunch") they were handing out samples of Pepsi Natural. I gave it a shot, which is literally about all the little Dixie cup held.

    In an instant, I was transported to my childhood friend's kitchen. It was summer. Harvest Gold appliances surrounded me. A vinyl tablecloth was spread before me. On it, a collectible Shazam glass from Pizza Hut containing partially melted ice. Steven is there, asking me, "Do you want more soda?" He pours, a plastic 2-liter, red label, stripes.

    "Like Cola…it's what cola should be like!"

    That was it. That was the taste. Sweet, smooth, almost rich with cola flavor yet not syrupy.

    Not bad. But not worth the extra cost, really. Throwback is a similar flavor for a little bit less (thought Natural's glass bottles are much cooler).

  25. Pepsi Natural is the BOMB. Better than the real stuff, and I've been a Pepsi drinker all my life. Please keep making this (and bring down the price!)

  26. I just had one of the Pepsi Natural, I am very happy that Pepsi came out with this product, I love it and highly recommend it. Great Tasting all natural Cola.

  27. I wish you would release Pepsi Natural in Maryland soon. I am on dialysis, and have to avoid Phosphorous. Since there is no Phos. in Natural, I can drink it, along with may of my fellow renal failure patients. Please Pepsico, have a heart and sell us some Pepsi natural, now!!

  28. I want to try this! I am a die hard Coke Fan but this may make me switch to Pepsi 4 Life :) Get with the program Coke and make a natural something!!!

  29. I saw the Natural Pepsi at the Large Wholesale Store, but I didn't want to buy a large amount without tasting it first. Where can you find it? I think it is excellent that Pepsi is keeping with the trends to have a healthier product. I'm very much against any Splenda and Aspartame (which turns into Formaldehyde at 86 degrees and our bodies are 98 + so I tell people to do the math.) I've had several spinal surgeries and just 1 sip of anything with Aspartame and I get sick migraines for days and I can't move my neck, due to the effects of Aspartame, and my Uncle Earl Ray is in a nursing home from the Aspartame embalming his brain while he’s alive and I’ve met two other people with family members having the same tragic consequences from Aspartame. Just about 6 months ago a family in the Kansas City Area was in the paper because their children all under the age of 7 had Alzheimer’s, we need to change our approach to what we eat! So, more power to a large Company like Pepsi doing the right thing, I hope you advertise enough, and don't let this product disappear like a large Cereal Manufacturer did with their natural cereals which were fantastic. Natural or Organic doesn’t have to taste terrible.

  30. Bought it at Clackamas Fred Meyer near Portland, OR and can confirm the ridiculous "original" price, which would put it at more than $4 per bottle. Must be a Freddy's error? Eh, whatever. I saw this on the shelf and wanted to try it for some reason. Then I googled it and ended up here.

    The first sip brought back the memory of cola-flavored Bottlecaps candy. The finish is a bit zippy — I guess that's what somebody called rusty nails. I don't know if I agree with that description but yeah, I taste something on the end that I don't taste with typical colas or other sodas.

  31. I just got off the phone with a rabbi at the Chicago Rabbinic Council.
    While it may be the case that Pepsi Natural is not kosher certified, it is in fact both Kosher and Parve.

    The Chicago Rabbinic Council is one of the most dependable sources of kashrus information – people swear by their beverage and passover lists, no pun intended.

    So… good news if you keep kosher and want to try Pepsi Natural. I just did, and it is fantastic.

  32. Hey, Pepsi! When are you bringing this to Tampa?

  33. Just bought a dozen 4-packs at Woodman's in Beloit, WI for $.59 each! I figured if I didn't like it, I could just give it away. Definitely tastes great (no gut-rot), but I wouldn't pay more than $1.00/bottle.

  34. does anyone know how this stuff is on your teath? cause I recently went to the dentist, and he explained how pop\soda what ever you prefer is bad for your teath and actually acid burns holes in to your teath. this was awful to hear as i dring 3 to 4 cans a day.

  35. WOODMAN'S Food Market in Kenosha, Wis. has a four pack on sale for $1.99. Attached is a $1.00 off coupon–making a four pack only $0.99! What a deal!!!!

  36. Science Guy says:

    Amy – GMO sugar altering the DNA of your gut!?!?!? The miseducation of America is going to be her downfall.

  37. I think Pepsi Natural is awesome, and I have never been a soda pop lover.

  38. Just purchased the new Pepsi Natural in the four pack. We are a "Pepsi house"! We all loved the bottle and the style but that is as far as it goes. Sorry Pepsi– but this leaves a tinney taste and does not give us that Wow factor. Just a little uh.

  39. Woodman's in Appleton WI no longer carries it. I called the Oshkosh WI bottler this morning and inquired on the status.

    The test marketing is apparently "complete" (i.e. no more made for now). So that explains the 4/$1.00 pricing towards the end of the marketing trial.

    However, I was told that expanded released of 'natural' is scheduled for 2010. I hope enough positive feedback was left to make this product a 'go'.

  40. Michelle Mazzara says:

    Hello we tried your pepsi natural when i bought the glass bottles at the .99 cent store here in Henderson Nevada & now they are out of them. I really want to know if we can see it on store shelves soon, because we think that is the Best! soda we ever had do YOU here me the BEST! We don't like to drink soda or anything with high fructose corn syrup. This soda is better than Hansens. It would be great if it came out in a 2 liter bottle.I will campaign for it if i have to. I know of at least 22 people Personally right now that would buy it. Please Please Let me know! THANK YOU♥ so much, Michelle Mazzara

  41. I have tasted the All-Natural Pepsi Soda and it taste way better than the original soda from pepsi and coke

  42. Pepsi Natural is the best soda we have ever tasted and everyone we shared it with agrees. However, after 13 cases we are down to five bottles and if anyone knows where there is any please post the location. After drinking Pepsi Natural we can't go back to regular Pepsi with he HFC syrup. One thing Pepsi did not promote the item enough because so many people had not heard of it but loved it when they tried it.

    Thanks,
    Janice

  43. I just had Pepsi Natural that I purchased in Mexico. Saw it wanted to try it. It was good, actually creamy. It maintains about an inch head and it is tasty. It kind of looks like tea. Anyone curious about it should try it you will not be sorry.

  44. Why does RAW contain lactic acid? I just drank it before double-checking the ingredients and as I have a severe milk intolerance I hope it isn't from dairy. Why can't drinks be unadultareted?? :-(

  45. Steve-
    Industrially, lactic acid fermentation is performed by Lactobacillus bacteria, among others. These bacteria can operate in the mouth; the acid they produce is responsible for the tooth decay known as caries. Lactic acid is in Pepsi RAW.
    Donna-
    Sauerkraut contains lactic acid, formed when lactic acid bacteria ferment the sugars in finely shredded cabbage. Lets hope this is the method they used :)
    Personally I'm allergic to apples so Pepsi RAW is no good to me.

  46. Any further news on a release date of Pepsi Nautral? I'm gettin' kinda thirsty….

  47. Joan C Samuelson says:

    Love the all-natural idea but could you cut the sugar by about 1/4?. I invariably find sodas to be sickeningly sweet. i can't help but think others share my opinion.

  48. rocky-o says:

    …bring back pepsi kona…

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Pepsi real-sugar beverage: Pepsi Natural. An all-new premium cola, Pepsi Natural is made with all-natural ingredients, including lightly [...]

  2. [...] Update #3: Just when you thought there wasn't more sugar-sweetened Pepsi news to report, along comes an "all natural" version of Pepsi called Pepsi Natural [...]

  3. [...] Update #3: Just when you thought there wasn't more sugar-sweetened Pepsi news to report, along comes an "all natural" version of Pepsi called Pepsi Natural [...]

  4. [...] Update: Just when you thought there wasn't more sugar-sweetened Pepsi news to report, along comes an "all natural" version of Pepsi called Pepsi Natural [...]

  5. BevBoard says:

    Pepsi Throwback and Mountain Dew Throwback…

    I confirmed with Pepsi today that Pepsi Natural will have the same combo of sugar as Throwbacks… cane & beet sugar together.

    It's also not Kosher, "similar" but not exactly the same as Pepsi Raw,……

  6. [...] years back, many wondered if Coke or Pepsi would try the same in some capacity. As we uncovered in our preview of Pepsi Natural, a trademark on the name was first filed back in December 2006. But nothing resulted. We saw Pepsi [...]

  7. [...] Preview of another sugar-sweetened drink: Pepsi Natural (March 5) [...]

  8. [...] also learned that Wal*Mart does not carry Jones Soda or Pepsi Natural . So much for my cane sugar fix. However, Wally did have shrimp + lime ramen, and I learned that it [...]

  9. [...] Preview of another sugar-sweetened drink: Pepsi Natural (March 5, 2009) [...]

  10. [...] rustika och äkta saker omkring oss. För nåt år sen lanserade Pepsi den här varianter – Pepsi Natural. Tillverkad med naturliga ingredienser, och visst känns läsken mer "äkta" i sin [...]

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