For the first time in its 30 years history, PepsiCo’s Naked brand is looking beyond juices and smoothies with the launch this week of Naked-branded fruit, nut, and veggie bars.
The move by PepsiCo is an attempt to capitalize on a twofold trend: the growth of snacking, alongside consumers’ increasing desire for more fruits and vegetables as they seek out healthier fare.
“We have a great heritage with fruits and vegetables,” says Becca Kerr, SVP for PepisCo’s North American nutrition fruit and vegetables portfolio.
The rollout of the new Naked bar products also comes at a moment when the juice category is experiencing weakness as Americans have become concerned about their consumption of sugar.
PepsiCo said that it remains the leader in the super premium juice category, but Kerr noted that that the expansion into bars is a way to “future proof our brand.” She said that the company has plans to expand the Naked brand to more products.
The $5 billion bar category is already a crowded space, spurred by shoppers seeking convenience. Kerr says Naked is differentiating itself by focusing on fruits and vegetables and through its inclusion in the “chilled subcategory,” which she notes has experienced strong growth. The bars will live in the refrigerated section of the supermarket. While they can be out of the fridge for a day, they are “optimal” if chilled, says Kerr.
This “packaged fresh” category—a term coined by Campbell Soup CEO Denise Morrison—has become critical to consumer packaged goods companies as they seek out growth.
“If you look at the supermarket, the perimeter”—where refrigerated goods like produce primarily sit—”is where growth is coming from,” says Kerr. In the eyes of the consumer, “refrigerated equals freshness.”
The bars come in three flavors: almond, cranberry, and spinach; apples, kales, and pistachios; and berries, carrots, and quinoa.