Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Cola Comeback?

There is a new trend in cola drinking. The producers of pop have gone old school with their product packaging and replacing the high-fructose corn syrup with real sugar. Certainly they hope that the vintage look will bring consumption levels back to old days.

Dr. Pepper is the latest to wear the look. They began rolling out the Heritage Dr. Pepper for their 125th anniversary last weekend and plan to run with it through September. It will feature six different can designs and include old tag lines "10 2 4" and "I'm a pepper."

Last summer, Pepsi was the first to introduce the "Throwback" packaging concept with its Pepsi-Cola and Mountain Dew brands. The buzz that the move generated was tremendous and the fact that it's being copied by Dr. Pepper speaks to the sales success of the move.

Despite its success, going with old school packaging is just a short term fix. And the cola companies no doubt have a long term problem. Per-capita cola consumption has been steadily declining since 2003 because of a proliferation of new drink options and the negative perception of carbonated soft drinks carry in terms of health.

However, it's very possible that the results of this experiment could lead to long term change. Although both sweeteners are identical and metabolize the same, high-fructose corn syrup simply sounds awful. And that perception problem has caused other brands to make the switch to real sugar; Ocean Spray and Gatorade made the switch to real sugar as well as Starbucks for their baked goods.

If their is a an overwhelming response to real sugar colas this summer, don't be surprised if they all make the switch to real sugar. This may be just what the doctor ordered for the cola brands.

1 comment:

ndfSnow said...

Im probably an exception to the "norm" but i dont care whats in it as long as its good; thats why i drink soda in the first place, otherwise ill stick to water. As for the new DP, theres very little difference in taste, its there but only barely noticeable however the MD is completely different, they got a hint of OJ in it which for me makes it inferior to the regular Dews and i haven't bought the new one since it originally came out, although i know some people that like it better. Ive been a consistent Dew drinker through the years, and no marketing or health campaigns will change that. Thats not to say i dont try the new dews when they come out.
Like the Dewmocracy Bullshit... I tried them all, just to try them, and i voted online for my favorite, just because one of them (Distortion) went so well with tequila, i wanted it to stay around. but i just bought them instead of the regular ones i would have normally purchased at the moderate rate i drink soda. so all in all they have never gained extra revenue from me from new products or new marketing campaigns, but like i said i am probably not the "norm" and im sure they have got many people hook, line, and sinker back on the soda train who may have stopped because of so called "health reasons", ive even witnessed it with a few people. Those Dew Throwbacks collect dust at my local grocery store (no joke!)