Manufacturers of carbonated soft drinks are finding innovative ways to bring their product back into the favor of today’s young consumer.
The carbonated soft drinks industry is struggling to find ways to reengage with young consumers in a time when healthful choices are knocking these fizzy beverages out of favor with many consumers.
According to a report from Wells Fargo, citing Nielson data, total dollar sales in all channels of carbonated soft drinks (not including energy drinks) were up 0.5% during the four week period ending Feb. 27, while they were down 0.4% for 12-weeks and up 0.3% for 52-weeks.
However, as consumers turn to beverages like juices and teas with a perceived health benefit, carbonated soft drink manufacturers are looking for ways to entice customers back to the category. According to Howard Telford, senior beverage analyst from Euromonitor International, it has proven difficult for both Coca-Cola and Pepsi to engage younger consumers with their traditional cola brands, as other brands, such as Mountain Dew, seem to be more successful in their attempts to reach a younger audience than the big cola brands.
Telford has noted that one solution to the volume declines that big cola is experiencing is creativity and customization of package design. In response to the volume declines, the industry has shifted to focusing on single serve transactions, rather than multipacks, and this shift in focus has presented an opportunity for innovation in design. As cans and bottles are being purchased individually, their design is more important than ever, and the big cola brands are taking notice and launching new initiatives.
Pepsi Co., which has been a leader in recognizing the importance in design, hired a chief design officer back in 2012, and now the company has announced its coming summer campaign: “Say It with Pepsi.” The new design initiative will feature emojis on packaging across the brand’s portfolio.
This new initiative is reminiscent to Coke’s recent “Share a Coke” campaign in c-stores, followed by the “It’s Mine” custom print Diet Coke bottles.
Telford referred to Pepsi’s new summer campaign as “[s]omething unique and unexpected that may make the consumer stop and engage with the brand in their local convenience store….perhaps share a picture of the package online….and perhaps provide a small volume lift over the important summer period.”