By Martinne Geller
March 25 The decline in U.S. sales of carbonated
soft drinks accelerated last year as more consumers reached for
alternatives, according to a leading beverage industry
Total sales volume fell 1.2 percent in 2012 to 9.17 billion
cases, according to Beverage Digest. That compares with declines
of 1 percent in 2011 and 0.5 percent in 2010.
"Carbonated soft drinks, while still the biggest category,
are playing a declining role in Americans' beverage
consumption," said John Sicher, Beverage Digest's editor and
publisher, in the newsletter.
Soda sales in the United States grew about 3 percent a year
throughout most of the 1990s, but began to slow in 1999. Sales
have been in decline since 2005.
Industry critics have pointed to the soda industry has
contributing to the nation's obesity epidemic. At the same time,
the deep-pocketed industry has successfully beat back proposed
taxes on soft drinks in several municipalities.
Earlier this month, a proposed ban on large-sized soft
drinks in New York City was struck down, although the mayor's
office is appealing the ruling.
In 2012, soda volume would have fallen 1.7 percent,
excluding fast-growing energy drinks such as Red Bull and
Monster Beverage Corp products, Beverage Digest said.
By company, Coca-Cola Co and Dr Pepper Snapple Group
Inc each gained 0.1 percentage point of market share,
while PepsiCo Inc's share slipped by 0.4 percentage
The top three soda brands - Coke, Diet Coke and Pepsi-Cola -
Including non-carbonated drinks such as teas, waters and
sports drinks, overall bottled beverage sales rose 1 percent,
according to Beverage Digest and Beverage Marketing Corp, a
rival trade group.
Both groups cited strength of energy drinks and bottled