Soda consumption down again, revenues up

April 2, 2012 at 1:21 AM
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NEW YORK, April 2 (UPI) -- U.S. adults and children drank fewer servings of carbonated soft drinks in 2011 -- 714 8-ounce servings per capita compared with 728 in 2010, a report said.

A report by Beverage Digest, which tracks the U.S. carbonated soft drinks U.S. market, said total consumption stood at 9.274 billion cases in 2011, down 1 percent from the previous year and the seventh consecutive year of decline, Forbes magazine reported.

Nonetheless, despite declining sugary drink consumption, the value of retail sales has been on the rise -- up 2 percent to $75.7 billion in 2011 from the previous year -- due to cola companies promoting drinks with higher margins.

For example, increasing retail sales could be partially due to aggressive promotion of energy drinks, which usually cost more than traditional sodas.

Soft drink companies continue to aggressively promote non-carbonated drinks such as juices, ready-to-drink teas, water mixers and dairy.

Meanwhile, the industry has been fighting government actions that might hurt business, such as a soda tax. Forbes estimated PepsiCo, Coca-Cola Co. and the American Beverage Association spent about $70 million on lobbying in 2011 compared with $16 million spent by tobacco companies.

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