Bubbling up a sparkling new drinks brand for PepsiCo

“We identified several thousand trend manifestations that were shaping the category in each area”

Their Challenge

In Spring 2015, faced with a challenging category dynamic, shifting consumer behaviour and the pending sugar tax, PepsiCo asked Black Swan Data to analyse consumer conversations at scale to help define their next generation of product innovations.

Specifically, Pepsico wanted to identify key opportunities within sparkling water conversations.

Our Approach

  • Robust data – We ingested 157m real-time beverage conversations from online data sources and filtered out any irrelevant content, e.g. duplication, spam, advertising, bots, leaving only useful, high-value consumer verbatim.

  • Exhaustive analysis – Applied AI and NLP analysis to understand and organise every single conversation into a taxonomy structure that’s relevant for Product Innovation, e.g. Ingredients, Product Types, Benefits, Themes and Brands.

  • Trend prediction – Identified several thousand trend manifestations that were shaping the category in each area. Our TPV (Trend Prediction Value) metric then ranked each trend based on its maturity and future growth potential.

The Results

Three key macro trend insights emerged from our analysis:

  • Sparkling – ‘I want to replicate the carbonated sensation that’s intrinsic to my drinking experience, but in a better for you form.’

  • Transparency – ‘I don’t want ANY nasties, cut the preservatives, artificial sweeteners, etc. Keep it clean, keep it simple.’

  • Flavour and function – ‘I want my product to not only taste good, but deliver specific functional benefits. To hydrate and refresh is no longer enough in isolation.’

  • The results of our analysis provided the foundations on which the Bubly product concept and proposition were built.

The Impact

  • Bubly – a new range of eight flavoured, zero-calorie, sweetener-free sparkling waters – was launched in the USA with a TV-ad during the 2018 Oscars.

  • Within 12 months sales had exceeded $100m.
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