Three exclusive stories in this edition highlight the complexities of today’s marketplace during a lingering pandemic.
In the first story, beverage bottlers, who face unprecedented labor and supply shortages, discuss ways to incentivize workers, get products on shelves, and manage higher costs. Few if any bottlers expected such high demand at groceries this long after vaccine distribution began. The Delta variant has forced a new stage of creativity.
The second story dives into concentrate pricing for carbonated soft drinks. To offset higher costs for everything from packaging materials to labor, Keurig Dr Pepper has added an unusual mid-year price increase for beverage concentrates sold to bottlers. Such hikes are generally passed on to retailers and then to consumers.
Which brings us to the final story, where BD details retail sales results for noncarbonated beverages during the first half of 2021. A key takeaway was the higher pricing consumers paid for refreshment beverages such as sports drinks. Retail promotions have been less necessary given the high demand and short supply.
So, in times like these, what’s the winning strategy?
-- Duane Stanford, Editor & Publisher
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