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PEPSI TARGETS INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION WITH BREAKTHROUGH PRODUCT CALLED PEPSI MAX; FIRST SUGAR-FREE COLA WITH MAXIMUM COLA TASTE

 SOMERS, N.Y., March 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Pepsi-Cola International today announced it will introduce in test markets next month a breakthrough sugar-free cola called Pepsi Max, whose unique blend of sweeteners and specially developed flavors deliver unprecedented, full-bodied cola taste in a no-sugar product. The company said the brand, three years in the making, will debut in parts of the United Kingdom and Italy during the first week of April.
 Developed exclusively for the international market, Pepsi Max is the first product whose main attributes -- maximum cola taste and strong brand imagery -- could convince significant numbers of regular cola drinkers to switch to a sugar-free product. That is a feat no previous diet cola has achieved internationally, and Pepsi Max thus creates a new segment of the cola market.
 Research suggests that many international cola drinkers simply don't like the taste of artificial sweetener-based diet colas and are additionally rebuffed by what they perceive as the negative image associated with drinking diet products. At the same time, more than half of regular cola drinkers sat they would be interested in a sugar- free cola with full cola taste and strong imagery.
 "Pepsi Max is uniquely positioned to tear down the barriers -- in both taste and image -- that have prevented the diet cola market from achieving its full potential in the international arena." said Donald Holdsworth, vice president of marketing and sales for Pepsi-Cola International. "Once those barriers are removed, we see potential for explosive growth."
 While growing at a robust pace in recent years, diet colas still represent less than 4 percent of the international soft drink market, compared to almost 30 percent in the United States. And, because sugar-free cola drinkers consume about 15 percent more than drinkers of regular colas, the overall market stands to expand considerably with Pepsi Max's success.
 New Pepsi Max uses the same base oils that comprise the trademark "Pepsi taste," along with the sweeteners aspartame and acesulfame-K. In addition, Pepsi-Cola's research and development team created a special blend of additional flavors that combine to deliver the maximum taste of a regular cola.
 From a marketing perspective, everything about Pepsi Max is unique to the no-sugar segment. The brand's package graphics, which feature a striking red, blue and silver design, differentiate Pepsi Max from all other no-sugar colas. The advertising will spotlight the fast-paced, exciting lifestyles that most appeal to the target Pepsi Max drinker, namely men and women between 16 and 29.
 In each of the test markets, Pepsi Max will be supported by television and outdoor advertising, product sampling, point of sale displays and consumer promotions. In the U.K., Pepsi Max will be available starting in early April in Birmingham and the surrounding Midlands, and Scotland. In Italy, it will also be on the shelf in early April in Milan and the surrounding Lombardy region.
 Pepsi's Mr. Holdsworth said the company selected the U.K. and Italy as the test markets because they represent opposite ends of the development of the no-sugar segment internationally. In the U.K., diet colas represent about 17 percent of the total carbonated soft drink market; in Italy they represent only 3 percent.
 Pepsi Max represents the latest move by Pepsi-Cola to shake up the beverage world with breakthrough product innovation. Last year, Pepsi-Cola introduced Crystal Pepsi in the United States and Canada. A revolutionary clear cola, Crystal Pepsi took the North American beverage market by storm and was named Best New Product of the Year by an independent consumer survey of 16,000 grocery products.
 -0- 3/1/93
 /CONTACT: Brad Shaw of Pepsi Cola International, 914-767-6467/
 (PEP)


CO: Pepsi-Cola International ST: New York IN: FOD SU: PDT

TS-LR -- NY017 -- 1251 03/01/93 09:16 EST
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Date:Mar 1, 1993
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