BrewDog is making a major move into the soft drinks category.
It has created a new sub-brand, called POP Soda, and debuted a quartet of drinks exclusively into Tesco: Hazy Lemon, Jagged Grapefruit, Dark Cherry and Citizen Cola (rsp: £4/6x330ml).
It comes six months after The Grocer first revealed the craft beer pioneer was eyeing the fizzy pop category, although the brewer initially sought to trademark the name ‘SodaDog’ with the IPO.
BrewDog said it planned to put 100% of the profits from the soda range “towards funding solutions to help tackle the climate crisis”.
The drinks themselves would “challenge the traditional and bland flavours currently available on shelf”, it added.
“Just like we revolutionised craft beer with our Punk IPA, we want to do the same for the world of soft drinks,” said BrewDog brand & marketing director Lauren Carrol, adding the brand was “giving everyone the chance to contribute to the fight against climate change by simply picking up a can of POP Soda and collectively taking action to stop the climate crisis”.
That the launch is spearheaded by Tesco in the off-trade could signal big things: it was, after all, BrewDog’s partnership with Tesco which helped kick off the massive growth the brand has seen over the past decade.
When The Grocer first reported news of a potential move into soft drinks, a senior source heralded it as a “smart move”. “It expands the available profit pool they can access without cannibalising their beer business,” they said.
However the launch comes after a tumultuous few months for the brewer, which has faced damning allegations from former employees around its workplace culture, and was the subject of a BBC documentary.
Its co-founder and CEO James Watt called the documentary a “malicious caricature” of the business in a LinkedIn post last week and said BrewDog would lodge an official complaiun with the broadcaster and Ofcom.