Coke products now occupy the top two spots for cola brands after Beverage Digest published 2010 sales data revealing that Pepsi’s market share slipped .4% to 9.5%, while Coke and Diet Coke maintained steady market shares of 17% and 9.9% respectively. Surprisingly, Pepsi’s rep is taking the news in stride:
I don’t think that we’d view this as a blow… We’re looking at our total position. Consumers want a wide range of products for a wide range of occasions. And we’re in a great position to satisfy them with that. Today we’re fighting a totally different battle on a much bigger battlefield than just colas, though we are completely committed to carbonated soft drinks.
Pepsi’s reduced sales have some questioning the company’s marketing approach, which seems to favor the highly admirable work done through their Pepsi Refresh Project rather than traditional advertising.
“In the cola wars, the Refresh Project by itself isn’t enough to market Pepsi’s cola brands,” the editor and publisher of Beverage Digest tells Ad Age. “They need, in addition, more product-oriented advertising and marketing. I think that the 2010 results are probably a wake-up call for Pepsi.”
Pepsi maintains that the Refresh Project has been a success, especially on the local level. They plan on expanding the program this year, with tweaks in the U.S. and launches in additional countries.