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PepsiCo launches hemp-infused Rockstar Energy drink

PepsiCo’s Rockstar Energy brand unveiled a hemp-infused drink on Tuesday – the latest product launch in its effort to lure new customers. Dubbed “Rockstar Unplugged,” the energy drink is infused with hemp seed oil as well as B vitamins, spearmint and lemon balm. The beverage has just 80 milligrams of caffeine, much less than most other drinks in the Rockstar Energy lineup. “These elements combined with a fruit-forward energy boost help maintain an easy-going, free-flowing, and soul-fueling attitude for any mood or occasion,” PepsiCo said in a press release. The hemp-infused drink is sugar- and calorie-free and will be sold in three flavors – blueberry, passionfruit and raspberry cucumber. It is priced at $1.99 per 12-ounce “slim” can. PepsiCo is aiming to attract younger, female customers with the latest Rockstar launch, according to CNBC. The energy drink business has long skewed toward young males. Fabiola Torres, PepsiCo general manager and chief marketing officer of the company’s energy drink category, said 91% of customers “told us they wanted a beverage that lifts their mood.” “Rockstar Unplugged delivers the ingredients consumers have been asking for, creating an opportunity for us to transform the category and introduce new consumers to our energy portfolio,” Torres said in a statement. Hemp seed oil is not psychoactive and contains little to no CBD. Food and drinks infused with CBD are still subject to federal restrictions. PepsiCo acquired Rockstar Energy for $3.85 billion in 2020. PepsiCo and other beverage companies have increasingly ditched traditional sodas and soft drinks in favor of experimental options aimed at younger customers. This month, Coca-Cola will debut a mocha-flavored coffee drink alongside its existing Dark Blend, Vanilla, and Caramel flavors. The company also unveiled redesigned cans for its flavored and zero-sugar drinks.

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