• Soda revenue is WAY down

    Derek Thompson over at The Atlantic:

    Ten years ago, Americans drank enough soda every year to fill a small aquarium. Fifty-three gallons of the stuff per person. That’s half a liter of Diet Coke on an average day. Compare that to our other favorite liquid-caffeine companion. For every cup of coffee we consumed in 2003, we drank two cups of soft drink. For $1 we spent on joe, we spent $4 on soda.

    Now look where we are: Soda is in a free fall, with domestic revenue down 40%. Coffee culture is ascendant, up 50% in ten years. In another decade, the United States could easily spend more on coffee than soda — something utterly unthinkable at the turn of the century (industry data via IBISWorld)

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    He’s really interested in the increase in coffee. I’m blown away by the decrease in soda. I really wish this chart showed consumption, not revenue, but I have no reason to believe that soda has just been cutting its prices and taking huge decreases in revenue. Some, if not most, of this has to be in decreased sales and decreased intake of soda.

    Given all of the data on how such beverages are contributing to the obesity epidemic in this country, it’s hard to see how this is anything but good news. Except to the beverage industry, of course.


    • To really understand what is going on you need to look at bottled water over this time-frame. Much soft drink revenue is moving to water at similar or higher margins for the manufacturers.

    • It does look promising, but perhaps many people are simply switching to a different sugar delivery system? It’s not obvious that White Chocolate Mocha is an improvement over Sprite.

    • Eh, the beverage industry is adapting. Pepsi has a lot of salty snacks. There’s bottled water. Fruit juices. All sorts of things. I wouldn’t worry about the soft drink industry.

    • What happened between 2005 and 2009? That seems the time when the drop is fastest.