The launch in Germany marks PepsiCo’s first foray in the hemp category (hemp comes from the cannabis family but does not contain THC), with its drinks using hemp seed extract alongside ginseng, guarana, B vitamins, caffeine, sugar and taurine.
While Germany is the launchpad for the new beverage, launching this week in three varieties (original, tropical burst and prickly cactus), PepsiCo has not specified if or when it plans to expand the beverage globally.
Rockstar was acquired by PepsiCo for $3.85bn in March last year: with the US beverage and snack giant powering up its presence in the energy drink category (which also includes Mountain Dew Kickstart, GameFuel and AMP).
Rockstar has some 30 flavors available across 30 countries, including the US.
In Germany Rockstar enjoys a market share of 35% of the energy drink category.
“With outstanding category growth of 58% compared to the previous year, hemp products are the trend of the year 2021 in the FMCG sector,” says PepsiCo. “With Energy + HEMP, Rockstar is now expanding its energy portfolio to include three varieties with the trend ingredient hemp seed extract.”
In Germany, the energy drink category is growing at around 14%. And PepsiCo adds that 60% of the growth in the energy drink segment is driven by innovations. Last year, it launched XD-Power (a high-caffeine drink with branched chain amino acids and Vitamin B). This year, it will be the turn of Energy + Hemp: which will be supported by a TV, digital and POS advertising campaign.
The drink launches this week in food retailers, discounters, petrol stations and the convenience and gas segment in 500ml cans for €1.69.