The super-premium cola launched via the on-trade in February 2008 and was rolled out to the off-trade in October that year as PepsiCo promised to "rejuvenate" the cola market.
But in the past year, Pepsi Raw recorded sales of just £704,000 [Nielsen 52w/e 26 June 2010] and is understood to have lost distribution in a number of retailer range reviews.
"Raw is currently being reviewed as part of a regular and ongoing assessment of the performance of each of our brands," said a Britvic spokesman. He added that Britvic was committed to providing a range of soft drinks "including products with all-natural ingredients".
The boss of one major soft drinks brand owner was not hopeful about the future of Pepsi Raw.
"I wouldn't be surprised if it was taken off shelves altogether," she said. "It hasn't got any traction and is part of a huge company with no expertise in dealing with smaller brands."
The brand had suffered from the outset with a "half-hearted approach" from PepsiCo, claimed Sally Moses, branding consultant at The Value Engineers. "You only have to look at Pepsi Raw's Facebook page to see how it's failing to resonate. Consumers don't know where to buy it and don't know what it is. The benefits of the raw cane sugar ingredient were not properly established. It's a shame because many people enjoy the taste."
An inside source at PepsiCo told The Grocer Pepsi Raw was never intended to be a mass-market product, and predicted that Britvic would scale back distribution.
"It's been successful in the on-trade, particularly in clubs, and is also popular with AB customers via upmarket retailers such as Waitrose.
"I am confident Pepsi Raw will continue to be sold but it's likely to be from a reduced base," she added.