PepsiCo's 'Om' Coming

Beverage company to enter premium water market

PURCHASE, N.Y. -- PepsiCo plans to jump into the premium bottled water market with a drink called Om, said the Associated Press,

The soda and snack food company, which also makes Aquafina bottled water, plans to launch the line next year, according to Beverage Digest. PepsiCo Inc. has so far been on the sidelines when it comes to the premium water segment, which includes brands such as Evian and Fiji, said the report.

A representative for PepsiCo, based in Purchase, N.Y., declined to comment or provide any details to the news agency.

The move follows the popularity of Coca-Cola's Smartwater, said the report.

Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have been diversifying their drink portfolios as Americans cut back on soda. Bottled water in particular has been growing in popularity over the years, but the problem for companies is that the bulk cases of bottled water sold in supermarkets typically aren't as profitable as other branded drinks.

Premium bottled waters are different, however, because people are willing to pay more for them. Sales volume for Smartwater is up 16% for the first half of the year, according to Beverage Digest data.

Coca-Cola and PepsiCo aren't the biggest players in the bottled water category. That distinction goes to Nestle, which owns brands including Deer Park and Poland Spring, and has nearly a third of the market, said AP.

Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo is a global food and beverage leader with net revenues of more than $65 billion and a product portfolio that includes 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in annual retail sales. Its main businesses are Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade, Frito-Lay and Pepsi-Cola.