The major soda (carbonated beverage) marketers are having a tough go of it some locales where sales are saturated. But an even bigger issue is that many people are turning away from soda because of health concerns.

Recently, the New York Times ran a major story entitled: “The Decline of ‘Big Soda”; it reported that “the drop in soda consumption represents the single largest change in the American diet in the last decade.”

In this story, observed that:

“Even as anti-obesity campaigners have failed to pass soda taxes, they have accomplished something larger. In the course of the fight, they have reminded people that soda is not a very healthy product. They have echoed similar messages coming from public health researchers and others — and fundamentally changed the way Americans think about soda. Over the last 20 years, sales of full-calorie soda in the United States have plummeted by more than 25 percent. Soda consumption, which rocketed from the 1960s through 1990s, is now experiencing a serious and sustained decline.”

“Sales are stagnating as a growing number of Americans say they are actively trying to avoid the drinks that have been a mainstay of American culture. Sales of bottled water have shot up, and bottled water is now on track to overtake soda as the largest beverage category in two years, according to at least one industry projection.”

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                           Photo by Ruth Fremson/The New York Times


19 Replies to “Can “Big Soda” Reverse Its Decline?”

  1. Lifestyle is changing now. Consumers desire more healthy food and drink. This is absolutely a bad news for soda industry since soda is consider as unhealthy things to public. I think it is hard for “Big Soda” companies reverse, unless they change their product to match the need of market–health. However, it is not easy for “Big Soda” companies to change. Because the traditional soda business had been exist so many years. It would be a difficult task for these companies change. they have to spent a lot of time and money, also they have to bear the risk from change. In a word, I cannot say it is impossible for “Big Soda” reverse, but it would be a rough path for them to reverse.

  2. The decline in consumption of sugary carbonated beverages over the past years is not surprising. People are becoming more health conscious and making the switch to beverages that are healthier alternatives, such as sports drinks (which are probably still not exactly great alternatives to soda since they usually contain a decent amount of added sugar as well) and water. There is scientific proof that soda is extremely unhealthy, and I think people generally listen to scientific data since scientific data cannot easily be refuted. I personally decreased my consumption of soda when I started reading about the scientific evidence that soda was unhealthy. I think that the publicity of the scientific data that soda is unhealthy also played a huge role in the decrease in consumption of soda, since data is only useful when people have access to it. As a result, I do not think that American culture will revert back to an increase in soda consumption. If anything is to change, the soda companies will probably have to decrease the varieties of sodas they offer and increase the variety of waters that they offer.

  3. I am curious to see how the decline in soda consumption will effect the marketing strategies of the major soda companies. I feel they will begin to market heavily towards “healthier” soda beverages, similar to that of diet soda, in attempts to win back their customers. Looking at the graph displaying the change in consumption of regular soda, diet soda, and water since 1985, the decline in regular soda as of late is quite evident, however the decline of diet soda is minimal. I believe it is likely that the industry will begin marketing towards the consumers of diet soda products more in order to gain back a portion of their lost customers from the regular soda products.

  4. I think there have two factors that plays main role in the decrease in the consumption of soda. First one is people are more and more professional at healthy care, and soda is not suitable for everyone. Because soda is alkaline drink, if people use it for a long-term, it will cause alkalosis with other symptoms such as anorexia or nausea. Another one is the new drinking products are good enough people have more choices. To cater to customer’s demand, many functional beverages are full of all sorts of our eyes and affect our purchase intention. So for companies which rely on soda should invest more in product development to innovate the new product or change their strategy to keep market competition.

  5. It’s no secret that soda is exceptionally bad to consume. I do not see “Big Soda” reversing its decline unless they can devise a way to make their beverages healthier while maintaining a flavor relatively close to the original. Clearly America has an obesity issue, and many more people are getting diagnosed with life-threatening diseases such as diabetes. With that, people have no choice but to cut out soda in order to prolong their lifespan. This is a similar issue that is being experienced with unhealthy snacks as mentioned in a different post; the sales are not growing. While it is unfortunate that this can cause many people their jobs and a loss of revenue for the soda industry, I think that it is a good sign that America is turning its health around.

  6. I am not surprised by this drastic decline in sales on soda since healthy and organic eating is becoming more and more popular in the American culture. I don’t think “Big soda” will be able to reverse its decline because of society’s new emphasis on health. I’m glad society has made this change and realize how bad these items are for you. I hope that these unhealthy drinks and food will eventually go out of business and provide more room to market products that are healthier.

  7. For me soda is never the first choice of beverage. Soda contains too much sugar and I always feel guilty to drink. I tried many diet soda of different brand and compared them with regular ones and found out the taste of diet sodas are always weird. I don’t think non-flavored bottled water would take over the most popular beverage category but soda is going down the road with no doubt.

  8. It’s important to point out that as soda intake has declined, obesity rates have risen. Yet, critics continue to claim that soda is the culprit driving obesity. The math simply doesn’t add up. Frankly, everything we eat, drink and do adds up, prompting weight gain or weight loss depending on the balance or lack thereof we strike. The fact remains soft drinks, which are clearly labeled and come in a variety of calorie counts and sizes, can be incorporated into a sensible dietary balance – just like other sources of calories.

  9. It is no surprise to me that the soda intake in this country is on the decline. We are entering an age where so many have become obsessed with the idea of being thin, dieting, exercising, and engaging in an all around healthy lifestyle. Drinking water and eating only organic foods has become the norm for many. The high sugar content in regular soda, and the supposed link to cancer in diet soda is not appealing to those who are dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle. I do not see many ways for “Big Soda” to reverse this decline, unless they somehow completely change their direction and market a healthier alternative. However, in my opinion, I believe that everything is okay in moderation. Many people currently take the idea of a diet too seriously.

  10. I am not surprised that many people are finally turning away from soda because the health concerns have been studied multiple times and I don’t think the slight satisfaction is worth it. I have never had a sip of soda in my life, personally, but I know that my brother (who has never had soda either) and I, always yell at our parents for drinking it, regardless if it’s a rare occasion or not. Obesity is a serious problem in America and nothing is going to change until Americans themselves make the necessary changes in their lives. There is no marketing scheme or advertisement that can rightfully prove the taste of the beverage outweighs having good health. Companies are going to have to start thinking of ways to change the ingredients in the carbonated beverage, or create other beverages that are health-driven.

  11. The change in our lifestyles is not surprising. As time has gone by, the advocacy for healthy lifestyles has increased because of the many campaigns against unhealthy eating and obesity. I personally agree with this article and am happy that the sales in sodas have decreased. We need to move to a healthier state of being for us and future generations.

  12. I think that this change in the American lifestyle is fantastic. However, it will be interesting to see the impact this has on the overall drink market. As of right now, one can typically get a bottle of soda cheaper than a bottle of water. Hopefully that will end up reversing, increasing the amount of people who are motivated to make the healthy decision.

  13. The rapid decline is carbonated beverages shouldnt come to a surprise from the past few years. Many experiments have surfaced using soda and how it impacts your body physically and mentally. Soda has no benefits except for taste. The number one cause of obesity is because of soda. By simply dropping soda from your diet and perhaps transitioning to water, many individuals will lose a significant amount of weight from that one product alone. We are the most obese country in the world and its time for that to change and we can use this analysis to let that be the first step.

  14. Overall I am not that surprised that the consumption and purchasing of soda has gone down. People in today’s world are more more health conscious and are more aware of what they are exactly putting into their bodies. I myself have almost completely cut soda out of my diet. The only times that I will drink it are at holidays or a family event. Other than that I do not see the need to drink soda on a regular basis. Other people are obviously starting to feel the same way as water purchases go up and soda continues to go down.

  15. Carbonated sodas have being a big concern in the market in the past 5 years. Studies have shown that they are a big contribution to overweight in the United States. The sugar that these beverages have is incredibly high. Children are a big target from big companies like McDonald’s, where they encourage bigger size drinks upgrade with a very minimum money increase, letting no option but to get the upgrade and get the larger size. Now we are seeing that people is taking care of themselves better than before. People is eating healthier. People is directing to purchase organic products. It looks like people would like to live longer.
    That is mostly why this article makes so much sense. Eventually there will be no more carbonated beverages and instead it will be only water. Is like the world is moving backwards in time.

  16. People are paying more attention to health now, the traditional soda drinks will be replaced by more healthy drink slowly in the future, this is the trend of development,Traditional soda maker should development of new products as soon as possible

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