Pepsi to aim for Hispanic market via Mexican soft Drinks

Dallas Morning News – Pepsico hopes that its next taste of success will be apple- and orange-flavored.

The beverage giant said Friday that it plans to begin selling its apple-flavored Mexican soft drink, Manzanita Sol, in heavily Hispanic U.S. markets this summer. Pepsico also announced the rollout of orange-flavored Mirinda, which the company test-marketed in Houston, Dallas and other cities. Manzanita Sol and Mirinda are well-known in Mexico, where they are Pepsico’s No. 2 and 3 brands.

“Apple is the second-largest soft drink category in Mexico,” said Tyler Ricks, director of multicultural marketing for Pepsi-Cola North America. “And we think there is demand there from U.S. Latinos. We believe there is an unmet need.”

Market research firm Info- Americas called beverage sales to the Hispanic community “the fastest-growing component” of the U.S. market.

But given the growing number of calorie-related health concerns among Hispanics, Dora Tovar, president of Arlington-based Tovar PR, said the marketing push gives her pause. “The question has to be: What is the value of cross-marketing these soft drinks … at a time when our community overindexes for so many disease states that are impacted by sugar consumption?” Tovar asked.

Ricks said Pepsico is evaluating whether to offer diet versions of the sodas.