How Coke Beat Pepsi Once Again
    By Hank Campbell | January 23rd 2013 01:12 PM | 7 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    So Coca-Cola and Pepsi Cola both introduced new ad campaigns. Pepsi went the traditional route (i.e. boring) once again and signed another fit superstar to sing about how awesome their soda is.  

    Thanks,  Beyoncé, it's all been done, but I am thrilled you got $50 million to endorse it. 

    Credit and link: GQ Magazine

    Coke did something really weird, for being supposedly an evil, mercenary, Big Corporation bent on exploiting children at all costs - they addressed the claims about soda and obesity in their ads.

    Perpetual wet blanket Marion Nestle, who basically can find nothing right in anything any successful food company does, criticized that too. It's good to be in academia, where you never have to build anything but can just ridicule people who do stuff, and insist a beverage company should just fall on the sword. And if beverage companies commit this cultural seppuku and obesity does not go down, well, self-proclaimed experts just move on to something else.

    Look, calories count.  In a daily reasonable amount of calories, lots of companies are going to compete for that budget - contending that soda companies have an unnatural hold on children means we have to not expose them to anything. Not political ads, not news, not movies that have kissing or any violence or anything at all.

    How Coke Beat Pepsi in the New Cola Ad War by Sarah Stodola, The Fiscal Times


    According to the book referenced below, Pepsi won the bottle wars.

    Both companies were ready to market their products in plastic bottles.  Coca-Cola chose a styrene copolymer, while Pepsi chose PET.  Then scary news came out about the effects of vinyl chloride monomer used for PVC.  The styrene copolymer was made from vinyl monomers, albeit different ones, but the similarity was enough to force Coca-Cola to withdraw their bottled product and re-issue a PET version, giving Pepsi a temporary lead.

    Plastic: The Making of a Synthetic Century by Stephen Fenichell

    Robert H. Olley / Quondam Physics Department / University of Reading / England
    I guess that is a victory. Not only does Pepsi not outsell Coke, it can't even outsell Diet Coke. Fortune magazine declared the contest over back in 1996, and it was barely a contest even then, it was just that Coke was dumb enough to introduce New Coke in the 1980s and it seemed like there might be a race again.
    Unfortunately for Coke, they do not beat Pepsi at chips. The latter own Lays and Fritos. With Nirvana in such snacks, who needs soft drinks?

    My biases aside, if we let the the financial charts do the talking:

    That's part of the problem. They now have a CEO obsessed with snack foods after having a CEO obsessed with buying restaurants in order to make the restaurants stock Pepsi - what Coke salespeople then did in food chains was note that Pepsi was now a competitor to food chains and they lost even more market share. What the distraction doesn't do is make the company any money. 
    What I don't want them to do is change Pepsi, I like Pepsi, I strongly prefer Pepsi over Coke.
    I suspect there are others who feel the same about Coke, and that's fine, but don't change my Pepsi to chase those customers.

    Sponsored by the leave my fracking Pespi alone lobby.
    Never is a long time.
    The whole new Coke fiasco happened because of dopey taste tests. In sips, a lot of people preferred Pepsi, it was just drinking a whole can that people prefer Coke and the lower sweetness. Changing a company based on a taste test that didn't model how people actually drink was a dumb idea.

    So I don't think anyone is changing now. Pepsi is #3 but it is still a lot of profit.
    If Pepsi (or Coke for that matter) wants to make a knock off of the other, that's fine (which I think was what new Coke was suppose to sort of be).
    I will also note I think Coke is probably better for mixing with Bourbon. But that's another conversation :)
    Never is a long time.