- Rockstar Energy’s newest PepsiCo drink is infused with it hemp seeds.
- The company wants to attract younger consumers to the energy drink category.
- Hemp seeds contain little or no CBD, and foods and drinks infused with them don’t have the same legal restrictions as those made with the hemp compound.
PepsiCo Rockstar Energy’s newest drink wants to help consumers relax.
Filled with hemp seed oil, peppermint, lemon balm and just about 80 milligrams of caffeine, Pepsi hopes to attract younger female consumers with the drink. Men ages 18 to 34 consume the most energy drinks, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.
“It’s a blend of herbs that can help us relax, but not sleep,” said Fabiola Torres, PepsiCo’s general manager and chief marketing officer for the company’s energy sector.
Other iterations of Rockstar drinks contain between 160 mg and 300 mg of caffeine.
Rockstar Unplugged will be available in slimmer 12-ounce cans in three flavors: blueberry, fruity, and raspberry cucumber. Starting Tuesday, the drink will be available nationwide, starting at $1.99 per can.
This isn’t Rockstar’s first foray into cannabis. In April, the brand launched Rockstar Energy + Hemp in Germany. Ramon Lagorta, CEO of PepsiCo, told analysts that month that the German test was specific to this country, which has a large market for cannabis. Torres said the Rockstar Unplugged formula is completely different, using half as much caffeine as the German brew.
While many consumers may think of hemp seeds as synonymous with CBD, there are some differences. Both come from hemp plants, but hemp seeds contain very little CBD. It also has less dramatic effects when consumed.
″[Hemp seed] “He doesn’t have any jobs, he comes from grass,” Torres said. Imagine you are drinking herbal tea that contains caffeine. This is.”
It is currently illegal for companies to sell foods and beverages containing CBD across state lines, keeping big players like Pepsi and its competition at bay. Coca Cola out of the fight. A number of young players who have had a bit of a loss have introduced their own CBD drinks, but the category is still small. Only 1.8% of Americans bought a CBD drink in the last three months of 2021, according to Brightfield Group.
There is no such ban on foods and drinks filled with hemp seeds in the United States, but it has failed to spread as well as in Germany or other markets.
“This is a new area, so we try to test it, learn and really enjoy it,” Torres said.
PepsiCo’s shares are up 26% over the past 12 months, giving it a market capitalization of $239 billion.