Abilene Industrial Foundation
Friday, February 13, 1998
Coca-Cola widens lead over Pepsi-Cola in soft drinks
By SKIP WOLLENBERG AP Business Writer
NEW YORK (AP) - Coca-Cola Co. widened its lead in the $54.7 billion U.S. soft drink market last year, but Pepsi-Cola Co.'s Mountain Dew was the fastest growing major brand, two top industry watchers said Thursday.
Coca-Cola brands including Coca-Cola Classic, Diet Coke, Sprite and Barq's collectively accounted for a record 43.9 percent of the domestic soft drink market in 1997, according to the Beverage Digest/Maxwell report.
That was up 0.8 percentage point from the old market share record of 43.1 percent that Atlanta-based Coca-Cola set a year earlier.
But as Coca-Cola gained market share, Pepsi-Cola's brands lost ground. Their collective market share fell 0.1 percentage point to 30.9 percent, the report said.
Similar findings were reported by Beverage Marketing Corp., an industry research and consulting firm. That report found identical changes for the two big soft drink companies but estimated Coca-Cola had 44.6 percent of the market and Pepsi-Cola at 30.7 percent.
Pepsi-Cola, based in Somers, N.Y., has been the industry's perennial No. 2 with brands like Pepsi, Diet Pepsi and Slice as well as Mountain Dew.
"By our standards, 1997 wasn't a stellar year for us," said Pepsi-Cola spokesman Larry Jabbonsky.
Dr Pepper/Seven Up, a division of Cadbury Schweppes of the United Kingdom, was third among the soft drink companies with 14.5 percent of the U.S. market, down from 14.7 percent in 1996, according to Beverage Digest.
John Sicher, editor and publisher of Beverage Digest, said Coca-Cola's gains came as the industry was embroiled in a fierce price war.
"Coke had a terrific year," Sicher said. He attributed its performance to good marketing, the introduction of the citrus drink Surge and expanded availability of the Barq's root beer brand.
Sicher said Surge, a high-caffeine drink marketed mainly to teens and a rival to the fast growing Mountain Dew, captured about 0.7 percent of the soft drink market even though it was only available in about half the country at the start of the year.
Among individual brands, Coca-Cola Classic remained the top seller despite falling 0.2 percentage points to 20.6 percent of the market.
The Pepsi brand stayed in second place at 14.5 percent but lost 0.4 percentage point of market share. Diet Coke was third at 8.5 percent, down from 8.7 percent in 1996.
Mountain Dew leaped ahead of Sprite and Dr Pepper to claim fourth place among all soft drinks. The three brands had each finished at 5.8 percent market shares in 1996.
Mountain Dew had 6.3 percent of the market in 1997, as its 0.5 percentage point rise made it the biggest gainer of the industry's top 10 brands, the report said.
Sprite finished fifth at 6.2 percent and Dr Pepper was sixth at 5.9 percent.
Rounding out the top 10 were Diet Pepsi at 5.5 percent, 7Up at 2.3 percent, Caffeine Free Diet Coke at 1.8 percent and Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi at 1.0 percent.
Beverage Marketing's rankings were similar.
It was a tough year for colas as all five in the top 10 brands lost market share while three non-colas gained. 7Up and Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi held steady.
"Americans are showing more interest in flavored brands," Sicher said.
But colas still have a commanding lead. The top six colas collectively accounted for 51.9 percent of the soft drink market while the top four non-colas weighed in with 20.7 percent.
above found here: http://www.texnews.com/1998/biz/cola0213.html
There is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar.