During the first quarter, Coca-Cola has experienced decline in the popularity of its namesake sodas in the key markets. The current trend reflects a mix of changing tastes, challenging economic conditions and a shifting business strategy.
According to a report in AP: The world’s biggest beverage maker said that sales volume for sodas like Diet Coke and Cherry Coke that bear its name collectively declined in North America, Europe and the unit including the Middle East and Africa.
The slip in Coke’s namesake drinks comes as big soda brands are being pressured in the US and elsewhere by a proliferation of competition. Soda is also an ongoing target for public health advocates, who blame the drinks for fueling obesity. Diet Coke has been fading in popularity domestically as well.
As people keep moving away from big sodas, Coke has retooled its strategy to focus on packaging like glass bottles and mini-cans that can fetch more money. Even if people drink less soda, the idea is that they will spend more when they do.
To keep up with changing tastes, Coke and Pepsi are putting more marketing behind options like premium water, bottled teas and even milk. But Coke is still trying to burnish its flagship drink.
This week, the company unveiled new cans and bottles of Diet Coke and Coke Zero that make them look more like regular Coke, with giant red circles on the cans. By uniting the varieties under a single brand, Coca-Cola says they’ll have more impact on stores shelves and maximize advertising dollars.
The new cans are rolling out in Mexico next month, and will spread to other countries this year and next. Coca-Cola said it’s still testing its options in the US and that no changes are planned for 2016.