Soft drinks: Leading brands hold own, but flavored drinks gaining

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You've seen it all when 7-Eleven convenience stores replaces Sprite with grape in some fountain dispensers, as it did recently. The shift isn't ubiquitous or suggestive that the country's fifth favorite soft drink has lost its luster. It is more a testament to the power of flavored soft drinks.

While the top 10 brands maintained a 72.9% market share from 1999 to 2000, flavored siblings are beginning to take hold, with Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo and Cadbury Schweppes buying their way into the growing field and developing their own brands.

The marketers aren't giving up on their main brands, though. They poured on the media just to maintain share last year. In 2000 alone, they spent 24.5% more on measured media than they did in 1999.

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