Fans of drinks like Pepsi or Mountain Dew and snacks like Cheetos will soon be able to put cash back into their pocket when they buy both a PepsiCo beverage and branded food within a 48-hour period.
The new PepCoin rewards program, which just launched this week, gives consumers up to 10% cash back on the cost of those items. So, basically, Pepsi is paying devoted soda drinkers and snackers to consume more and more of its products.
The program currently includes 20-ounce PepsiCo beverages like Pepsi cola, Aquafina, Mountain Dew and Sierra Mist; as well as Frito-Lay snacks like Doritos, Cheetos, Lay's and Fritos.
To qualify for a cash reward, snackers must buy a product with the designated PepCoin logo, which is basically a white bar with blue lettering that clearly states "PepCoin."
Interested in signing up? First, people should visit PepCoin.com to set up a free account with a verified email address. Then users may link an existing PayPal or Venmo account with PepCoin.
To redeem the reward after you've purchased a specially marked item, open PepCoin.com on any mobile device or computer. Scan in the item's 10-digit code (on drinks, it appears on the cap; for snacks, the code appears on the front of the bag) using a smartphone camera or enter the numbers directly into the system. Just be sure to enter both items into PepCoin within 48 hours.
When members reach a $2 threshold, that cash is transferred directly to their bank account via Venmo or PayPal.
For those who don't scan a drink or snack code for 120 days, Pepsi will deduct a 25-cent maintenance fee. There's also a maximum amount of items people can scan in each day: three drinks with three snacks (which is probably a good thing because one could easily exceed their daily sugar and sodium intake otherwise).
Pepsi says it will also be doling out different types of bonuses periodically, so members should keep an eye on their email for these opportunities.
So far, folks on social media are pumped about the idea of being able to put cash back into their pocket simply by snacking.
Many food brands including Chipotle and Chick-fil-A have launched loyalty programs in the past few years to drum up repeat business. Starbucks also recently revamped its popular rewards program, but many fans weren't happy about the new structure.
Pepsi's program also comes at a time when soda sales have been declining for years, so this could be an attempt to win back fans. The program does, however, allow members to earn rewards on drinks besides soda, like Aquafina water and Lipton tea.
To offset lackluster soda sales, both Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have started branching out into different drink categories that appeal to more health-conscious consumers with beverages like fruit-flavored Diet Coke and PepsiCo's Bubly sparking water.