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Water is winning the Pepsi-Coke war in the US

| Economic factors

Coca-Cola and PepsiCo’s sodas continued to lose US market share in 2016, hurt by Americans ditching the drinks in favour of bottled water.

Soft-drink volume declined in 2016 for the beverage giants, with per capita consumption falling to a 31-year low, according to trade publication Beverage-Digest. Still, total volume grew for the two companies, with their water and sports-drink brands picking up the slack.

Bottled water beat carbonated soft drinks in sales volume for the first time, according to Beverage Marketing Corp.

"The beverage industry has undergone a seismic shift," said Michael Bellas, CEO of the group. "Bottled water’s emergence as the number one beverage type clearly signals a fundamental change in what consumers want from their beverages."

Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have expanded their portfolios of beverages and diversified pack sizes of carbonated drinks to appeal to increasingly health-conscious consumers. Volume of Coca-Cola’s Dasani grew 5.3% and PepsiCo’s Aquafina gained 10.9% in 2016, according to Beverage-Digest’s annual report.

Smaller soda cans and bottles contributed to a 2% gain in carbonated soft-drink revenue to $80.6bn from $79bn in 2015. That is a sign of success for Coca-Cola, which has increasingly focused on profit, rather than volume.

Bloomberg

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