Dr Pepper Snapple to focus on brands, U.S.

NEW YORK Wed May 7, 2008 9:39am EDT

A man lifts a can of Dr. Pepper in an undated file photo. REUTERS/Vismedia

A man lifts a can of Dr. Pepper in an undated file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Vismedia

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. soft drink maker Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc (DPS.N), which just separated from Cadbury Plc CBRY.L, will focus for now on growing U.S. sales of its new and existing brands, its chief executive officer said on Wednesday.

In an interview, CEO Larry Young said Dr Pepper is putting together a 5-year plan for Latin America, which currently accounts for 7 percent of its revenue. But getting more people in the U.S. to drink more Snapples and Dr Peppers is a main goal, Young said.

Dr Pepper will also launch Venom, an energy drink, in the next couple of weeks, Young said, as Dr Pepper aims to capture a piece of the market for highly-caffeinated drinks, which is growing faster than the market for traditional soft drinks.

U.S. sales of traditional carbonated soft drinks have fallen in the last few years as health-conscious consumers pick drinks they see as healthier or beneficial. Like its rivals, Young said Dr Pepper is seeing some softening of cold drink sales at convenience stores as the weak U.S. economy causes people to cut back on impulse purchases.

(Reporting by Martinne Geller, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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