People Are Drinking Less Soda Than Ever Before, Big Beverage Is Panicking

As soda consumption drops steadily every year, Pepsi and Coca-Cola turn to new tactics like introducing real sugar
Coke and Pepsi want us to start drinking soda again.

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Coke and Pepsi want us to start drinking soda again.

Soda companies are all hopping on a new soft drink trend: Real sugar. From Pepsi’s craft soda to Coca-Cola ditching the aspartame, replacing artificial syrups with real sugar is just the latest tactic Big Beverage is trying to get us to drink soda again.

According to industry data published in Beverage Digest, soda consumption is at a 30-year low and decreasing every year. Total soft drink industry volume declined 1.2 percent in 2015, a bigger drop than 2014’s 0.9 percent.

Beverage Digest also noted that annual per capita consumption of soda dropped to about 650 eight-ounce servings in 2015 — which is the lowest it’s been since 1985. The biggest losers seem to be diet soda, which have dropped five percent in 2015 sales.

Are we losing our taste for soda? Industry analysts say yes, that people are increasingly looking toward healthier beverage options and becoming more conscious about what they put in their bodies, according to Time.

"People ask me, 'When do you think the carbonated soft drink categories are going to stop declining?'" Sandy Douglas, president of Coca-Cola North America, said at the Morgan Stanley Global Consumer and Retail Conference in November. "That question is born of measuring volume, a gallonage, not packages."

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In 2014, both Coca-Cola and PepsiCo vowed to cut American soft drink calories by one-fifth following pressure from activists at the Global Clinton Summit.