Where Will Soda be in 10-20 Years?
Due to society's recognition of the harmful effects of sugar, Americans crave soda significantly less than they have in the past.
As a result, Pepsi and Coca-Cola's soda sales have declined over the past few years. Today, people are more likely to choose a healthier alternative such as a bottle of water, a smoothie, or calorie-free, flavored water. This trend has begun to disrupt the beverage industry.
According to Business Insider, less than 25 percent of PepsiCo's sales came from soda in 2016, while an increasing amount of their sales came from nutritious drinks. Companies like Pepsi and Coca-Cola are working to acquire healthier options; Coca-Cola added Honest Tea and ZICO coconut water to their arsenal.
As seen from the graph above, soda sales have shown minimal growth, and in the past two years (given that sales have also declined into 2019 as well) have declined. This trend diverges from seltzer and sparkling water sales, which have seen a fair amount of growth since 2013.
In addition to a drop in sugar intake, consumers are looking for healthier choices across the board. Alcoholic beverage manufacturers are looking to create more and more non-alcoholic, healthy and energy drinks. Becoming "natural" as a product, has a clear appeal to today's consumer.
The future of soda is in danger as consumer preferences shift to more health-centered alternatives. This societal shift is forcing brands to diversify their products to cater to this new, health-conscious generation of customers. Although soda will not be eliminated from restaurants, gas stations, and grocery stores any time soon (or ever), sparkling waters, seltzer, and healthy teas will increasingly dominate the beverage market.
Written by Matthew Durborow, Edited by James Mueller & Alexander Fleiss