Slumping demand for diet sodas sold by PepsiCo and Coca Cola propelled a decline for the broader industry, as overall sales of carbonated soft drinks dropped for the 11th consecutive year in the U.S., reports Fortune. Total volume declined 1.2% in 2015, an acceleration from 2014’s 0.9% drop, as the biggest three players in the category all reported falling demand, according to a new report from industry tracker Beverage Digest. The group also reported that annual per capita consumption of carbonated soft drinks dropped to about 650 eight-ounce servings in 2015 – the lowest since 1985.
Labeling the Danger in Soda
There’s been a lot of attention lately on soda taxes, writes Tina Rosenberg in the New York Times. Britain’s Conservative government put one in its just-released budget — largely because of the indefatigable work of the chef Jamie Oliver — although it wouldn’t kick in for two years. Mexico, a world leader in both obesity and Coca-Cola consumption, passed one in 2013, and it is working; Mexicans, especially poor Mexicans, the hardest hit by diabetes — are cutting down on sugar-sweetened beverages in favor of water. But there are other ways to encourage people to drink less soda. Perhaps the most direct is to tell them what’s in it, in a way that’s easy to understand. Jeffrey Dinowitz, a member of the New York State Assembly from the Bronx, introduced a bill requiring sugar-sweetened beverages to show these words on the front of the bottle or can: “SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar contributes to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay.” Lawmakers in California and Washington State have introduced similar bills, and San Francisco has passed a law — stalled by a lawsuit from the beverage industry — that would require outdoor display ads for sugar-sweetened drinks to carry the warning over at least 20 percent of the poster.
American Beverage Association Total Spending by Election Cycle
Source: Open Secrets