For PepsiCo, growth in the beverage business increasingly is about hybrid drinks that combine two or more traditional categories. Cue IZZE FUSIONS, a new “bubblejuicefusion” sub-brand of IZZE sparkling juice. It’s described as “a new to beverage” — one “that is sorta juice, sorta soda, sorta sparkling water” — and it comes in three flavors: Orange Mango, Lemon Lime and Strawberry Melon.
A made-for-Instagram teen-oriented marketing campaign (hashtag: #ItJustIz), kicked off on Monday featuring Canadian pop star Shawn Mendes, promoting a beverage that “refuses to be defined” … just like its target audience.
Taking pages from other “next generation” beverage competitors ranging from Vitaminwater to Sparkling Ice, Izze Fusions combines sparkling water and fruit juices in 12-ounce cans that boast only 60 calories and no artificial sweeteners or artificial flavors.
As Fortune notes, PepsiCo’s new IZZE Fusions and Lemon Lemon beverage brands are now hitting U.S. retail stores with a healthier-for-you promise: bold new flavors with less calories, as “Lemon Lemon contains 70 calories per 12-ounce can while IZZE Fusions has 60 calories for the same size serving, made with a mix of stevia and cane sugar.”
Fortune comments that these modernized soft drinks are “entering the market with formulas that contain fewer calories than traditional full-calorie sodas like the namesake Pepsi. These so-called ‘next-generation beverages’ are an important component of PepsiCo’s evolution to sell beverages and snacks that are healthier, especially critical in the world of soda as that industry has seen a years-long dip in sales of carbonated beverages as consumers aim to drink healthier beverages.”
“It was important we captured the essence of the new generation of teens blazing their own paths and living in the ‘undefined,'” Rosemarie Iannucci, marketing director for PepsiCo, said about the IZZE Fusions launch in a press release. “Their passion is what inspired every step of the launch—from the beverage itself to the creative, mobile and digital-focused marketing campaign. And it’s a product parents can feel good about buying their teens.”
As an experiential marketing partnership with NYC’s Z100 radio station, Mendes is hosting a private concert sponsored by the beverage in Brooklyn, dubbed Camp IZZE, on April 8 before he kicks off his own world tour.
Its festival-like atmosphere will feature other musical performances, “interactive playlabs,” “refreshment zones” and “teen change agents” — actors Yara Shahidi (the part-Iranian, part-African American star who plays Zoey on Black-ish) and Gaten Matarazzo (the Stranger Things actor whose rare genetic disorder, cleidocranial dysplasia, was mentioned on the series), “who will share how they defied stereotypes to reach their success.”
As Billboard notes, “Camp IZZE will serve as a fundraising kick-off to the T.J. Martell Foundation’s annual New York Family Day, and the company will auction off ‘amazing experiences’ with Mendes to help benefit the Foundation, which supports cutting-edge research for leukemia, cancer and AIDS. On top of all that, IZZE FUSIONS will give away tickets to Mendes’ U.S. concert tour (which starts July 6 in Portland, Oregon), as well as meet-and-greet opportunities with the star.”
Meeting fans and supporting the music industry-backed Martell foundation was what attracted Mendes, who stated: “I’m looking forward to being part of Camp IZZE. For my upcoming U.S. tour, I teamed up with IZZE FUSIONS to give away tickets and meet-and-greets, and auction off some amazing experiences with me, all to help benefit the T.J. Martell Foundation, the music industry’s largest organization supporting cutting-edge research for leukemia, cancer and AIDS.”