Pepsi's New Drink Aims To Help Us Relax, As If Anything Could

Life in a pandemic has presented all sorts of challenges, and brands have spent the last six months contorting themselves to cater to our myriad needs during this difficult time. Fast food chains gave out comforting freebies. Beer companies tried to restore a sense of normalcy. And now PepsiCo is releasing a brand-new drink, Driftwell, a water beverage that will help you sleep when the many, many stressors of the world are keeping you awake.

According to CNBC, the concept for the drink actually started brewing (heh) last year, when PepsiCo CEO Ramon Laguarta kicked off an internal competition for new product ideas. A product that could help consumers destress before bed was the winner, but it might not have been developed so quickly had there not been a pandemic an election wildfires every event of 2020 weighing on consumers' minds as they try to sleep.

"I think we're launching this at a time when there's more consumer interest than there previously was, given everything that's going on from a macro perspective," said Emily Silver, vice president of innovation and capabilities for PepsiCo North America. I also think that, Emily. Glad we agree.

The drink will be available starting in early 2021, and will contain 200 milligrams of L-theanine, an amino acid also found in green tea. Driftwell will also contain 10% of the recommended daily value of magnesium, as science has established a link between magnesium deficiency and sleep deprivation. The product will debut with only one relaxing flavor, blackberry lavender, and CNBC notes that it'll be sold in 7.5-oz. mini cans, because "According to Silver, it's the perfect size for hydrating before bedtime without requiring another trip to the bathroom."

Sleep aids are big business, so it makes sense for PepsiCo to enter the market with a product that can compete with, say, the rise of relaxing CBD products. The question is whether loyal consumers of caffeinated Pepsi products will swap their after-dinner soda for a comparably flavorless water drink.