How Pepsi's Manzanita Sol Is Honoring Día De Los Muertos

Some holidays seem custom-made for explosive visual art, and Día de Los Muertos is one of them. The dinámica celebration, translated in English as "Day of the Dead," is among the most significant traditions in Spanish culture. It honors deceased loved ones, emphasizing remembrance rather than mourning, and takes place annually in Mexico, the United States, and many Central American countries, explains AZ Central. Artistic expression takes center stage, represented through art, food, costumes, altars, and ofrendas, which are individual ítems placed within each altar, notes the Smithsonian.

It's no surprise that American corporations with strong Hispanic ties pay tribute to such an important cultural tradition – and that's exactly what PepsiCo announced in coordination with its Manzanita Sol soda partnership. Known as the Celebrar y Recordar company campaign, it incorporates iconic cultural symbols into soda-can art while awarding cash to lucky contest participants. Showcasing the skills of Mexican artist and illustrator Totoi Semerena, a set of new designs adorn a limited-edition collection of soda bottles and cans being sold in five major U.S. cities.

Art meets soda for international tradition

According to PepsiCo, three soda can designs tell Día de los Muertos stories of La Catrina, an icon symbolizing the "relationship with death"; Xoloitzcuintli, "a spirit guide to" the afterlife, and La Calavera, a lighthearted skeleton symbol celebrating "life after death." The limited-edition packaging appears on sodas from partners Manzanita Sol, a fizzy apple-flavored soda, and three fruity flavors from the longtime Crush brand. Also in the lineup is a Pepsi Real Sugar design. Time explains that Pepsi Real Sugar is a follow-up and rebranding of its Pepsi Throwback product, which utilizes cane sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup.

Path reports that last year, Manzanita Sol helped celebrate the holiday with Crush and Pepsi using a series of themed Volkswagen Beetles called La Caravana del Más Allá, or "The Caravan from Beyond." The caravan distributed pan de muerto as well as gift cards for Hispanic-owned restaurants to Los Angeles residents. This year, the company also tossed in a financial component by funding 250 grocery awards of $100 each, intended to enhance the importance of food and family recipes in Día de Los Muertos celebrations. To enter that competition, soda fans must post images of their limited-edition Manzanita Sol, Pepsi Real Sugar, or Crush products on Twitter using hashtags of #ManzanitaSol #Sweepstakes and @ManzanitaSolUS. Alternatively, photos can be submitted to Winners use the $100 gift cards at specified local retailers in Los Angeles, Chicago, Phoenix, Houston, or Dallas.