Carbonated Soft Drink Volumes Fell Further In 2008
March 30, 2009
Dow Jones

NEW YORK - The U.S. carbonated soft drink market saw a sharper decline in volumes in 2008, with both Coca-Cola Co. (KO) and PepsiCo (PEP) losing market share, a report released by industry publication Beverage Digest said Monday.

Sales of fizzy drinks have slowed in the U.S. in recent years as many consumers turned to drinks they perceived as healthier. The broad U.S. beverage industry came under added pressure last year as the economy weakened and consumers cut back on spending on even smaller, daily items.

Volumes in the U.S. carbonated soft drink market declined 3% in 2008, Beverage Digest said, compared to a 2.3% decline in 2007. The declines of the last four years have eliminated years of growth from 1997 to 2004, the trade report noted.

Coke's CSD volume fell 3.1% and PepsiCo's declined 4%. Dr. Pepper Snapple saw its carbonated soft drink volume decline 1.3%, but its market share was up.

There were some bright spots amid the larger declines. PepsiCo's Mountain Dew brand grew volumes 4%, Diet Dr. Pepper grew 2.3% and Coke Zero grew 36%.

The overall liquid refreshment beverage category, which includes beverages like bottled waters and sports drinks in addition to carbonated beverages, also weakened in 2008. Coke's volume for that category was down 1.6%, and Pepsi lost 5%. Beverage Digest did not include refrigerated juices and juice drinks in that category.

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