What Makes New Nitro Pepsi Different From Other Colas

If a type of beverage has been around for more than 100 years, it may be challenging to find a way to innovate so that its taste and mouthfeel might appeal to a new generation of drinkers. But Pepsi says it may have found a way to do just that with its latest drink, Nitro Pepsi, which will be released to the general public on March 28. In a press release sent to Tasting Table, PepsiCo calls this soda the "first-ever nitrogen-infused cola that's actually softer than a soft drink — it's creamy, smooth, and has a mesmerizing cascade of tiny bubbles topped off by a frothy foam head."

Infusing a beverage with nitrogen is not exactly a new idea — Ripples says Guinness has been using the nitro technique for decades, so Guinness drinkers who want to try the new Pepsi will recognize the "widget" found at the bottom of the soda can. It is this widget that could end up converting soda skeptics into cola fans. Todd Kaplan, VP of Marketing for Pepsi says: "While soda has been a beverage of choice for so many consumers over the past century, some people still cite heavy carbonation as a barrier to enjoying an ice-cold cola. With this in mind, we wanted to come up with a new way for people to enjoy delicious Pepsi cola, but with a new experience around the bubbles." 

Adding nitrogen can give beverages a creamy mouthfeel

Nitrogen is an intriguing, gaseous addition to beverages because of the way it enhances liquids. Beverage Daily says infusing a drink with nitrogen can result in the creation of very small bubbles, which gives a beverage a "creamy, velvety mouthfeel." Adding nitrogen can also heighten scents and flavors, smoothing out bitter notes.

Pepsi says it has been looking to use nitro technology since 2019, and will be ready to roll out a Nitro Pepsi "on tap" experience in Las Vegas by March 25. Kaplan says: "Nitro Pepsi is a first-of-its-kind innovation that creates a smooth, creamy, delicious taste experience for fans everywhere. Much like how nitrogen has transformed the beer and coffee categories, we believe Nitro Pepsi is a huge leap forward for the cola category."

Nitro Pepsi will come in two flavors: Draft Cola and Vanilla Draft Cola. To drink Nitro Pepsi, PepsiCo suggests enjoying the new soda cold but without ice, and hard poured — which is to tip the can upside down and into a tall glass. The drink should also be sipped straight from the glass, instead of through a straw.