The U.S. refreshment beverage market contracted by 2% in 2008, according to Beverage Marketing Corp., making last year the first volume downturn on record.
Nonetheless, beverages still performed better than many other industries, such as automobiles and the financial sector.
Several beverage types continued to shine, including carbonated soft drinks in many parts of the country.
CSDs accounted for close to half of total liquid refreshment beverage volume. In fact, conventional carbonated soft drinks remain the most popular category on a volume basis, holding down five of the top 10 positions in the rankings of trademarks by volume. However, the category’s market share continued to erode slightly, as it has for the past several years.
Overall, last year saw the performances of the leading companies’ liquid refreshment beverage portfolios reflect the downward tendency characterizing the marketplace as a whole. Coca-Cola’s total volume dipped by 2% in 2008, while Pepsi’s was off by 5% compared to the previous year. However, some brands had strong showings. Coke Zero grew by 25%, for instance, and Pepsi Max jumped 45% in 2008.
“In today’s uncertain climate, consumers seek value,” said Beverage Marketing’s CEO Michael Bellas. “Responsive beverage companies are looking for ways to give it to them.”
Hard Facts About Soft Drinks
• Americans drink over 13 billion gallons of soft drinks each year.
• The first soda pop made in the U.S. was Vernor’s Ginger Ale, created in Detroit, Michigan in 1866.
• Coca Cola, Hires Root Beer and Dr Pepper were all introduced in the same year, 1886.
• Major Soda companies hold the largest marketing share among carbonated soft drinks, bur some smaller firms have grown in volume. Here’s a look at the top 10 according to Beverage Digest:
Company Market Share in 2008
1. Coca-Cola 42.7%
2. PepsiCo 30.8%
3. Dr Pepper Snapple 15.3%
4. Cott 4.7%
5. Nantional Beverage 2.6%
6. Hansen Natural 0.8%
7 Red Bull 0.7%
8. Big Red 0.4%
9. Rockstar 0.4%
10. Private Label and Other 1.6%