By LeeWEpstein

September 21, 2020


The American launches the first relaxing L-theanine-based consumer soda in the United States. A product category that meets with growing success in Japan and California.

Sodas were supposed to keep us awake but, now it helps us sleep. While hemp-based relaxing drinks are on the rise in the U.S., Pepsi is set to launch Driftwell, a drink across the Atlantic that is believed to promote relaxation.

A bit like a chamomile tea, but in the form of a cold drink. Non-carbonated and calorie-free, this blackberry and lavender-scented beverage contain magnesium and L-theanine, an amino acid contained in tea leaves that has relaxing properties. The consumption of 200 mg of L-theanine would generate alpha waves in the brain, the same ones observed in a relaxation session. A can of Driftwell contains 200 mg of L-theanine.

The cannabis drinks are exploding

Born out of an incubator program in the company in January, the relaxing drink project was developed in six months and will be launched in December, a period known to be stressful, especially in this time of the pandemic.

“We started this project before the COVID crisis, but now with all the stress, we’re juggling a lot of things and need to get some sleep,” said Emily Silver, vice president of innovation at PepsiCo’s Fast Company site. The focus on sleep wellness has increased dramatically in recent years”.

After caffeine-rich sodas, the era of energy drinks like Red Bull, the beverage market now wants to slow our heart rate and help us sleep.

Like what has been happening in technology in recent years, sleep and relaxation is a new field for magnetics companies. So-called functional drinks (which have health benefits) are a market that is growing by 5% in the United States and Europe. And while relaxing drinks are slowly emerging, they are already enjoying great success in Japan and California.

Since the legalization of cannabis in the American state, products based on CBD (a non-psychoactive molecule present in cannabis) have been very successful, especially among consumers attracted by natural products. If the Pepsi drink does not contain this cannabis derivative, the brand intends to reach a wider public with its relaxing drink. For the category, its price is relatively affordable.

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