63 percent of Americans are realizing the dangers of soda consumption and are actively avoiding it, a new Gallup poll released.It increased significantly since 2002, when 41 percent were staying away from soda.
Soda Consumption Falls to Lowest Level in Decades
Worth about $75 billion, the soda industry has made a huge profit since the 80s and 90s, when Coca-Cola was expanding drink sizes and “upsizing.” The size of fountain drinks had skyrocketed over 50% in 1990, and the 20-ounce bottle was introduced in the US.
As people drank more and more soda, rates of obesity and diabetes soared, and while the soda industry still denies to this day any connection, research suggests otherwise. The “supersized” mentality seems to have backfired for Coca-Cola and other beverage companies, because as the health risks become clear, sales have been on a steady downward spiral.
As Businessweek reported:
“For decades, soft-drink companies saw consumption rise. During the 1970s, the average person doubled the amount of soda they drank; by the 1980s it had overtaken tap water. In 1998, Americans were downing 56 gallons of the stuff every year—that’s 1.3 oil barrels’ worth of soda for every person in the country.
Then we weren’t as thirsty for soda anymore, and there were so many new drink options that we could easily swap it out for something else. Soft-drink sales stabilized for a few years…
In 2005 they started dropping, and they haven’t stopped. Americans are now drinking about 450 cans of soda a year, according to Beverage Digest, roughly the same amount they did in 1986.”
Coca-Cola Seeks to ‘Reintroduce’ Coke to Teen Market, and in ‘Guilt-Free’ Sizes
Part of Coca-Cola’s plan to bring soda back is, ironically, introducing smaller sizes, a strategy they believe might reposition Coke so “people stop feeling guilty when they drink it, or, ideally come to see a Coke as a treat.”
Smaller, 7.5-ounce minicans and 8-ounce glass bottles have been selling well. Even Sandy Douglas, president of Coca-Cola North America, says he limits himself to one 8-ounce glass bottle of regular Coke in the morning. Any more would be too many calories, he told Businessweek.
Meanwhile, Coca-Cola decided to target the teen market directly this summer. Teens, while notorious for their soft-drink consumption, have been quickly bailing ship and opting for energy drinks instead. So Coca-Cola printed the 250 most common teen names on Coke bottles, hoping to entice teens with the “personalized” drinks. It worked. Sales increased by 1 percent in North America just in a three month duration of time.
Yet, there seems to be a growing realization within the industry that, as American attitudes about diet change, and more people seek to reduce added sugar and sugary drinks in their diets, appealing to the “healthier” side of their image is needed.
And, here, too, Coca-Cola is quick to respond. They’ve invested heavily in small “healthy” beverage companies like Fuze tea, Zico coconut water, and organic Honest Tea.
Coca-Cola also owns Odwalla and Simply Orange juices, Glaceau Vitaminwater, and Core Power sports drinks.A $1-billion two-year marketing blitz’s sole goal is to drive its “sparkling” division back to its former glory.
And in case you were wondering… its healthy-sounding “sparkling” division includes soda, which is completely delusional.