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U.S. soda sales drops for 12th straight year: trade publication
April 19, 2017 / 6:43 PM / 7 months ago

U.S. soda sales drops for 12th straight year: trade publication

(Reuters) - Sales of soda drinks decreased about 1.2 percent in the United States in 2016, falling for the 12th year in a row, a report by trade publication Beverage Digest showed, as demand was hit by consumer choosing healthier options and a slew of sugar taxes aimed at stemming obesity and diabetes.

Regular and mini cans of Coke and Pepsi are pictured in this photo illustration in New York August 5, 2014. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

The per capita consumption of soda drinks, including energy drinks, fell to about 642 8-ounce servings last year, the lowest level since 1985, when the Beverage Digest began tracking consumption trends, the publication said on Wednesday.

However, total sales dollars increased 2 percent to $80.6 billion as soft drink makers aggressively pushed smaller packs at higher prices per ounce, while lowering emphasis on large discounts packs, the Beverage Digest said.

Soda makers such as Coca-Cola Co (KO.N) and PepsiCo Inc (PEP.N) have been relying on smaller pack sizes and premium packaging to drive margins in developed markets. They are also making more non-carbonated drinks as well as reformulating drinks to lower sugar levels and launch sugar-free versions.

These measures come amid a wave of sugar tax approvals in the United States and Europe.

The consumption of added sugar in foods and beverages has been linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes. The World Health Organization, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the American Heart Association have all recommended reducing consumption of soda as a way to cut down on added sugars.

Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza

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