Pepsi is to roll out its Pepsi Raw cola across the UK off-trade. The company launched the ‘natural cola’ into bars and restaurants last February but said it was now ready to build on the success of the variant by bringing it to a wider audience.

The move had prompted the soft-drink manufacturer to develop new formats for the drink and it would be adding cans and multipacks to the existing 300ml glass bottles, Pepsi brand manager at Britvic, Ounal Bailey, told The Grocer. The new pack formats include a 4x250ml can multipack, a 4x300ml glass bottle pack and an 8x150ml can format to capitalise on Raw’s growing popularity as a mixer with spirits. The 300ml glass bottles are now on sale in Waitrose, Harrods and Harvey Nichols. A 250ml can will hit shelves in Boots from next month, rsp 95p, before a roll out of all the formats across the trade in early 2009.

“Bringing Pepsi Raw to a wider audience is an exciting prospect,” said Bailey. “Cola is a hugely important category to the soft drinks market but it is also a maturing market that needs rejuvenation to drive further growth.”

It was also revealed this week that Pepsi has invested £700m in a new look for the Pepsi range, including a new ‘smiley’ logo and a retro lower-case font. The new design will be launched in the United States early next year but the schedule of rollouts for other markets had yet to be decided, said a spokeswoman.

The company also denied reports it was launching its Mountain Dew and Sierra Mist drinks into the UK market. The launch of Pepsi Raw sparked a battle of natural colas in the UK. Red Bull launched its Simply Cola in April, claiming it was “the only cola that contains both the original Kola nut and the Cocoa leaf, with no preservatives or additives,” while Coca-Cola hit back with a campaign this summer highlighting the fact it contains “no added preservatives or artificial flavours”.