PepsiCo Renames, Tests Premium Water

As previously reported, PepsiCo is looking to follow the avenues of The Coca-Cola Co., Inc., which markets SmartWater, and Nestle Waters North America, which markets ReSource, with a premium bottled water of its own. But now, they’re calling it Qua, according to The Associated Press (AP).

The product had originally been named Om, however, consumer testing led to the name change. It was tested Sunday at the Golden Globes, where the water was handed out at the red carpet and placed on tables at the show in hopes of reaching target influencers.

A PepsiCo spokeswoman told The AP that Qua, which was created to appeal to trendy, upscale consumers, may face another revamp of its name and design before a broader rollout. The product, which is made with tap water (as is Smartwater) that is “micro-filtered” and contains no sodium, will undergo further, regional testing in California this summer.

Pepsi hasn’t yet established a suggested retail price for the water, however, competing products typically sell for $2 or more. Qua represents the company’s first plunge into a burgeoning category. According to IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm, during the past year ending on Dec. 1, 2013, SmartWater has increased sales by 13.6 percent in supermarkets, drug stores, mass retailers, gas and convenience stores, military commissaries and select club and dollar retail chains. The category benefits by marketing affordable luxury and features brands such as Evian, Fiji and VOSS.