Pepsi Study: Signature burgers go better with Pepsi

(Pepsi touts new study)

On National Hamburger Day this Friday, Pepsi is taking a stand and encouraging consumers to pair any burger of their choice with Pepsi, courtesy of the brand.

Pepsi has always claimed that America’s favorite foods, like pizza, wings, and burgers go #BetterWithPepsi. However, for the past 30+ years, burger lovers have had a very limited selection of beverage choices – even at the top three burger chains – forcing consumers to settle for what is available and not enabling them to experience the optimal Pepsi and burger pairing.

Burgers Go Better with Pepsi

Burgers Go Better with Pepsi

The Tests. The Experts. The Results.

Pepsi commissioned third-party blind taste tests1 and a consumer survey2to discover how burgers with signature offerings from the top three burger chains paired with different beverages. The results were clear: participants preferred Pepsi over Coke with each burger.

  • 1In a blind taste test conducted by an independent sensory and product evaluation firm in the LA market with adult consumers who frequent fast-food burger restaurants, approximately 60% of participants preferred their Big Mac, Whopper, and Dave’s Single with Pepsi over Coke.
  • 2A panel of taste experts all agreed that Pepsi enhances the flavors in a Big Mac, Whopper and Dave’s Single more than Coke. Specifically, the soda intensified the meat and cheese flavors in the burgers.
  • 3Pepsi drinkers are four to five times more likely to be disappointed by the existing carbonated soft drink offerings at the three biggest burger chains.

“For decades, consumers have not had the chance to enjoy the optimal taste combination they deserve at many burger chains – a burger with an ice-cold, refreshing Pepsi,” said Todd Kaplan, VP of Marketing. “We know that burgers go better with Pepsi, so we want to provide burger-lovers with the long-overdue opportunity to try the one elusive but deliciously perfect combo – a juicy, meaty, topping-stuffed burger with a Pepsi.”

Kaplan adds, “Our #BetterWithPepsi initiative is a fun way for us to reinforce the role that Pepsi plays in elevating the taste of burgers, while also reminding consumers that they have a choice when it comes to beverages.”

Why Do Burger Fans Prefer Pepsi? It’s Science!

The unique flavor and citrus note in Pepsi pair flawlessly with the rich flavor of ground beef and cheese, acting as the perfect complement. The other cola brand tends to taste heavier in vanilla and raisin-like flavor notes that over-burden the juicy taste of a burger – just ask Chef Kyle Shadix, CRC, MS, RD, former Chopped contestant, and PepsiCo’s Corporate Executive Research Chef for Global Beverages.

“The signature flavor and bright citrus blend of Pepsi cuts through the fat and gives a juicy hamburger a fresh, clean and delightful taste,” said Chef Kyle. “It’s just like how adding a touch of citrus in cooking can heighten flavor and change a food or beverage’s entire flavor profile, which is why it is used by chefs and mixologists across the world to add brightness and lift the flavors of the foods and beverages they create. This is why Pepsi is a no-brainer to pair with burgers.”

How to Score a Pepsi on National Hamburger Day

On National Hamburger Day, consumers can get reimbursed for their Pepsi in either one of two ways:

  1. Sharing a photo of themselves with a Pepsi and any burger of their choice purchased that day – even burgers from restaurants that don’t serve Pepsi – on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #BetterWithPepsi. Then, the brand will reach out to verify the consumer’s associated receipt(s) that clearly show a burger and a Pepsi purchase.
  2. Clicking a #BetterWithPepsi ad on Facebook or Instagram, then sharing their receipt(s).

Once the brand verifies the receipt(s), consumers will be provided a rebate via Venmo, PayPal, or digital gift card up to $3.49. Full details and terms and conditions can be found at

This National Hamburger Day promotion is part of the brand’s #BetterWithPepsi creative campaign launched earlier this month with 12 new national commercials. The spots do away with the unrealistic and idealistic portrayal of food, and instead spotlight the celebration of the unapologetic love of food like juicy cheeseburgers, topping-heavy hot dogs, and pizzas with extra-long cheese pulls – all better with a Pepsi.

#BetterWithPepsi is more than a tagline for the brand, it’s an unapologetic reinforcement of how consumers enjoy the brand every day.