POWER PLAY: To say PepsiCo is faring better in the fizzling beverage industry than Coca-Cola Co. is hardly a ringing endorsement. Coke is smarting from its arrogance in not buying Gatorade when it had the chance, and that serendipity for Pepsi has proved fruitful in the long haul. While non-carbonated soft drinks are also sluggish, Pepsi under Mr. Rodkin, 52, has done a far better job than its rivals responding to the continuing exodus of consumers from carbonated soft drinks with seasonal beverages, flavored waters and juice drinks. Moreover, Pepsi's much better hiring and retention of promising marketing talent have given the company retail leverage that Coke can't offer. Pepsi thus should emerge better poised to move quickly into and out of a market opportunity, say industry observers.
DOWNSIDE: Despite this varied activity, fizzy drinks still are the mainstay of the category, and Pepsi has to do a better job at keeping the Pepsi Generation interested in them.