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Carbonated soft drinks take lead in U.S. beverage category

BY Jenna Duncan

NEW YORK Soft drinks are still the No. 1 selling bottled beverages in the U.S. and water surpassed beer to take second place in average beverages consumed per person in 2007, according to a recently published study.

The report stated that Americans consumed an average of 49.3 gallons of carbonated soft drinks in 2007, down 3.3 percent from the previous year.

Bottled water consumption was up 7.1 percent in 2007 to a reported average of 22.5 gallons per person. Beer saw a gain as well, up 1.4 percent, or 22.2 gallons average. Milk and coffee were both down; milk at 20.1 gallons, down 1 percent, and coffee at 16 gallons per person, a drop of about 1.2 percent.

Even though Americans were consuming more bottled water than ever before—almost twice as much per capita than 10 years ago—soft drinks still held the lead.

“Water is still about 46 percent the size of carbonated soft drinks,” industry newsletter Beverage Digest, which published the report, said, “but the category growth is far outstripping population growth, so per capita consumption has risen steadily since the early 1990s.”

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Pringles commences campaign for Stix

BY Jenna Duncan

NEW YORK To promote Pringles Stix, its inaugural baked product, Pringles is airing a TV commercial and print ad campaign, the company said.

Animated with a couple of stick figures—Mr. Pringles and a female partner—dancing to a disco song, the first 30-second spot aired Monday, April 28.

Deputy chief creative director at ad agency Grey, Rob Baiocco, said it was a challenge to create the campaign because the shape of the new Stix products is so different than any other Pringles product of the past. “Everything other than the stick itself screams Pringles,” he said.

The commercial will run on both cable and network TV. Other elements of the campaign include a 15-second spot, a print ad, an in-store presence and sample program utilizing Tupperware which will go into action next month. The campaign is the project of Grey marketing group’s G2 team.

Pringles Baked Wheat Stix come in four flavors; crunchy wheat, honey butter, pizza and vanilla, and are available from retailers nationwide.

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Mars rolls out Indiana Jones snack campaign

BY Jenna Duncan

McLEAN, Va. Mars Snackfoods U.S. has initiated a campaign in association with the new “Indiana Jones” movie.

To help launch “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” Mars has created specially packaged M&M’s and Snickers candies and has developed an interactive Web site, as well as Indiana Jones print and TV spots.

The packaging of M&M’s new mint crisp chocolate candies features Indiana Jones-themed wrappers. A new flavor of Snickers has also been released [Snickers Adventure Bar] that contains added coconut and spice flavors. M&M’S cookie ice cream sandwiches and ice cream cones and Snickers ice cream bars will also have movie-themed packaging.

M&M’s and Indiana Jones fans can visit an interactive Web site at www.mms.com which has games that presents an online game, movie trailer and downloads, like themed wallpaper.

The M&M’s NASCAR race team will also have an “Indy”-themed car and plans to hold movie-related activities for guests at selected races.

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