Will a virtual quick serve restaurant drive Pepsi’s cola sales?
Pepsi has debuted a virtual quick service restaurant concept that seeks to pair the brand’s colas with a variety of complementary foods, such as burgers, chicken sandwiches and ribs.
Pep’s Place, according to the brand, is its attempt at “upending” what consumers think of food ordering and delivery, with cola coming first. Customers start the ordering process by selecting what they want to drink. The site recommends entrees, sides and dessert pairings for visitors based on their drink of choice.
The concept, which is open at select sites around the country, offers delivery from orders placed on PepsPlaceRestaurant.com and through DoorDash, GrubHub and UberEats. The brand will operate the site for 30 days before it goes offline.
A preliminary test conducted by RetailWire yesterday paired a Pepsi Real Sugar with a classic burger and fries prepared by a local Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que in New Jersey.
Pepsi is using Pep’s Place as the focal point of a national ad campaign that launches with eight commercials, including Spanish language spots. The brand’s spots are intended to drive home an “unapologetic” message of the culinary delights associated with the pairing of its soft drinks and grilled foods.
“For years we have known that Pepsi is the perfect complement to a variety of foods,” said Todd Kaplan, Pepsi’s vice president of marketing.
“With the launch of Pep’s Place, we have designed a new ‘fast beverage’ restaurant delivery concept that features a menu and experience literally built around the idea of what foods go best with Pepsi, allowing consumers at home to fully optimize their meals,” he said. “We are confident that by doing this, everyone will agree — and taste firsthand — how well Pepsi goes with their favorite foods.”
Pep’s Place is not the first time that PepsiCo has tested the direct-to-consumer waters. The consumer packaged goods giant introduced two new D2C sites last year — PantryShop.com and Snacks.com — to enable consumers to order products from across its portfolio of brands, including Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi, Quaker and others. The site sells product bundles with prices ranging from $17 to $49.95.
- Pepsi Debuts Pep’s Place – A Fast Beverage Restaurant Where the Cola Comes First – As Part of Larger Initiative To Showcase How Your Favorite Foods Go Better with Pepsi – PepsiCo/PRNewswire
- Where the Cola Comes First – Pep’s Place
- PepsiCo launches direct-to-consumer sites for its brands – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you expect Pepsi will learn from its Pep’s Place campaign and concept? Do you expect major brand companies to try concepts like this in support of their direct-to-consumer initiatives?