You’ll note an extreme focus on carbonated soft drink pricing in today’s newsletter. That’s because there is no shortage of news, and soft drinks remain a massive and profitable category for US manufacturers and retailers.
On page 7, bottlers discuss the recent Memorial Day holiday weekend and how soda consumers and retailers are responding to higher list prices and fewer “hot” promotional deals. BD shares what we learned from an informal survey. The news so far is positive, even if precarious.
On page 10, we publish our annual soft drink concentrate pricing review, which reflects the inflationary environment facing the industry and its stakeholders. Increases for major soda brands like Coca- Cola, PepsiCo, and Dr Pepper as high as +8.0% have no doubt promoted some challenging but necessary conversations.
Finally, BD’s first-quarter 2022 carbonated soft drink report on page 8 and companion Green Sheet detail the unprecedented gap between the category’s +10.2% value growth and its -2.6% volume decline.
Make sure to read today’s cover story, as well. As a kid, I spent many summer days in Memphis with my buddies combing empty lots for discarded glass soda bottles that could be turned in at the grocery for a deposit refund. That funded our habit for Big Gulps and Jolly Ranchers at the 7-Eleven. My parents remember – perhaps less fondly – lugging empties back and forth to the store to get their money back. Non-returnable PET must have been a welcomed change.
However, consumer attitudes have shifted since the returnable glass bottle went extinct in the US. I took a trip last week to El Paso, Texas on the Mexican border to report back to you on a returnable bottle test that proves what’s old is new again.
– Duane Stanford, Editor & Publisher
© 2023 Beverage Digest.
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