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New Data Shows Coca-Cola and Pepsi Are Struggling to Maintain Millennial Interest

Younger consumers are opting for more healthy beverages

Dean Drobot / Shutterstock

Competing companies have expanded their beverage options in efforts to appeal to younger audiences.

Leading soda brands Coca-Cola and Pepsi are struggling with their millennial audiences, according to data from ecommerce and consumer analytics provider Connexity.

Coca-Cola’s largest audience was consumers ages 35 to 44, and Pepsi’s was ages 65 and over, Adweek reported.

However, both companies under-indexed in the 18- to 24-year-olds.

"Coke tends to have a younger audience than Pepsi, but they're both failing to reach younger consumers," Rochelle Bailis, director of content at Connexity, told Adweek. "Younger consumers are more health-conscious, so both of them are in this arms race to get the attention of millennial consumers. I don't think either of them are doing it perfectly yet."

Connexity also saw a difference in levels of education for each company: More Coca-Cola drinkers have achieved at least a college degree, whereas more Pepsi drinkers have only a high school degree.


Audiences also varied based on income and television consumption. Pepsi consumers are 28 percent more likely to earn under $20,000 a year and 16 percent more likely to be self-proclaimed “TV addicts.” Coca-Cola consumers are 20 percent less likely to earn under $20,000 a year and 12 percent less likely to watch TV.