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Pepsi adds restaurateur to its resume

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Branching out from the soda bottle, Pepsi is working its way into the restaurant business via Kola House, the New York City concept the brand expects to open this spring, the New York Times reports. 

The 5,000-square-foot restaurant and event space will feature nods to Pepsi, but as more of a soft sell, and many of its offerings will center around the kola nut, the caffeine-containing fruit from which cola gets its name.

“This isn’t a pop-up,” Seth Kaufman, PepsiCo’s chief marketing officer for beverages in North America, told the Times. “This is something much bigger than that.”

While the enterprise is likely an attempt to boost brand awareness amid slipping sales (according to the Times, sales at parent company PepsiCo fell 5 percent during Q3), Kaufman noted it’s also a way for Pepsi to “transform” its consumer engagement in an age where brands risk irrelevance if they don’t change how they connect.

Pepsi follows the lead of other consumer packaged-good brands, such as Chobani and Nestle, that have opened restaurants and cafes as extensions of their marketing.

Read the full story via The New York Times.

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