The perennial battle between Pepsico and Coca-Cola was ratcheted-up a notch on Tuesday with the advent of a new ‘killer’ soft drink, Pepsi Blue, a berry-flavored cobalt-colored cola concoction targeting 13-24 years olds. Pepsi hopes it will give the kiss of life to its flagging US sales of carbonated beverages.

The promotional blitz for Pepsi Blue, the group’s riposte to Coca-Cola’s latest wheeze, Vanilla Coke, will break next week – preempting by one day the launch party for the latter. Both combatants are suffering from US consumers’ current preference for bottled water and other non-fizzy refreshments.

Says PepsiCo chief of North American Operations Gary Rodkin: “We have made it a top priority to step up innovation.” It is due to hit retail cold cabinets in August.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff