Pepsi, Coke lose market share as Americans drink less soda

The beverage giants saw soft drink volume decline last year, with per capita consumption falling to a 31-year low


Atlanta-based Coca-Cola and Purchase and New York-based PepsiCo have expanded their portfolios of beverages and diversified pack sizes of carbonated drinks to appeal to increasingly health-conscious consumers. Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg
Atlanta-based Coca-Cola and Purchase and New York-based PepsiCo have expanded their portfolios of beverages and diversified pack sizes of carbonated drinks to appeal to increasingly health-conscious consumers. Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

New York:Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc.’s sodas continued to lose US market share in 2016, hurt by Americans ditching the drinks in favour of bottled water.

The beverage giants saw soft drink volume decline last year, with per capita consumption falling to a 31-year low, according to trade publication Beverage-Digest. Still, total volume grew for the two companies, with their water and sports-drink brands picking up the slack.

Bottled water beat carbonated soft drinks in sales volume for the first time, according to Beverage Marketing Corp.

“The beverage industry has undergone a seismic shift,” said Michael Bellas, chief executive officer of the group. “Bottled water’s emergence as the No. 1 beverage type clearly signals a fundamental change in what consumers want from their beverages.”

Atlanta-based Coca-Cola and Purchase and New York-based PepsiCo have expanded their portfolios of beverages and diversified pack sizes of carbonated drinks to appeal to increasingly health-conscious consumers. Volume of Coca-Cola’s Dasani grew 5.3% and PepsiCo’s Aquafina gained 10.9% in 2016, according to Beverage-Digest’s annual report.

Smaller soda cans and bottles contributed to a 2% gain in carbonated soft-drink revenue to $80.6 billion from $79 billion in 2015. That’s a sign of success for Coca-Cola, which has increasingly focused on profit, rather than volume.

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