pepsi and coca cola


Soda just isn’t as popular as it used to be. With sales growth on sugary soda slowing, Coca-Cola (KO) and Pepsi (PEP) are looking to make soda cool again in an attempt to increase prices on the product.

Some of these changes for Coca-Cola include expanding its line of Mexican Coke, which uses sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup like the U.S. version, and has become something of an obsession for some consumers. It also means more stylized cans and bottles to look more “hip.”

Pepsi, on the other hand, is looking to push craft sodas and will even open an eatery in New York City, “honoring the kola nut.”

Don’t get them wrong. Soda is still a huge business and accounts for a large chunk of the beverage market’s revenues. But over the last decade, soda has been increasingly blamed for being a player in the United States’ obesity epidemic and customers have looked to low-calorie substitutes.

All in all, Beverage Digest shows that U.S. soda sales have fallen 14% since 2000. With their attempts to stem the bleeding failing, Coca-Cola and Pepsi have found another angle: break the cheap image by giving it a little cachet and charge more for it.

Pepsi has already started down this road, creating Caleb’s Kola in 2014. Coming in a glass bottle with the words, “Honor in craft,” written on it, a 10-oz. bottle sells for roughly 33% more than a regular 20-oz. bottle of Pepsi. Pepsi also introduced Mountain Dew Dewshine, which comes in a small glass bottle and has sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup.

Coca-Cola has also seen merit in that approach, creating a craft beverages team and acquiring brands like Hansen’s, which has been known for selling “premium soda.”

The presentation might be enough, however. Food marketers say that consumers are more and more interested in “authentic” food and drink, and offering “craft” soda in a glass bottle can be enough to hook them in. Considering the high caloric content coming largely from sugar, the smaller sizes are also in line with customer wishes of getting smaller portions.

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