The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

October 19, 2013

Coke exec: Diet Coke under pressure

LEWISBURG — NEW YORK — Diet Coke, the country’s No. 2 soda, may be losing some of its pop.

During a conference call with analysts this week, a Coca-Cola executive noted that Diet Coke is “under a bit of pressure” because of people’s concerns over its ingredients, alluding to the growing wariness of artificial sweeteners in recent years.

Steve Cahillane, who heads Coca-Cola’s North American and Latin American business, noted that the issue wasn’t specific to Diet Coke, but that many diet foods and drinks in the U.S. are facing the same concerns.

“We believe very strongly in the future of Diet Coke,” Cahillane stressed, noting that the drink is still the No. 2 soda in the U.S, after knocking Pepsi from that perch in 2010. The company said it still sells twice as much regular Coke as Diet Coke.

Cahillane also noted that the company is investing in boosting Diet Coke’s performance, pointing to recent promotions with singer Taylor Swift as an example.

Soda has been under fire from health advocates for several years now, and Americans have been cutting back on sugary fizz for some time. But in a somewhat newer development, diet sodas are falling at a faster rate than regular sodas, according to Beverage Digest, an industry tracker.

Last year, for example, sales volume for Coke fell 1 percent, while Diet Coke fell 3 percent. Pepsi fell 3.4 percent, while Diet Pepsi fell 6.2 percent.

Those figures aren’t going unnoticed in Coca-Cola’s Atlanta headquarters. This summer, the company launched its first ad addressing the safety of aspartame, the artificial sweetener more commonly known under the NutraSweet brand name, to ease concerns people might have about its use in diet sodas. It has also distributed fact sheets on the topic to its bottlers and retailers who sell Coke products.

The Food and Drug Administration says aspartame may be safely used in foods as a sweetener, and the American Cancer Society has said that most studies using people have found that aspartame is not linked to an increased risk of cancer.

Still, some fear that there could be adverse health effects from consuming artificial sweeteners over the course of many years that haven’t been detected in studies. The broader trend in the U.S. has also been toward foods and drinks people feel are natural or organic. And Coca-Cola is clearly aware of the shift; the company is working on producing sodas made with natural, low-calorie sweeteners. It also launched a version of its namesake drink sweetened with stevia in Argentina this summer. Stevia comes from a plant of the same name.

Meanwhile, Coca-Cola Co. said that sales volume for regular, full-calorie Coke rose 2 percent in North America in its latest quarterly results reported on Tuesday. Coke Zero, which is made with artificial sweeteners and targeted more toward men, rose 5 percent.

The company didn’t break out Diet Coke’s performance, but overall soda volume for the region was flat.

1
Text Only
News
  • Idea may spring some of pen’s 1,600 cons

    April 25, 2014

  • buffa25a.jpg $230G loan miffs crowd

    April 25, 2014 3 Photos

  • Ex-county clerk gets $113G to settle suit

    April 25, 2014

  • Good Morning Central Susquehanna Valley

    Today is Friday, April 25, the 115th day of 2014. There are 250 days left in the year. On April 25, 1507, a world map produced by German cartographer Martin Waldseemueller contained the first recorded use of the term “America,” in honor of Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci.

    April 25, 2014

  • Celebration of the Arts kicks off in Lewisburg

    LEWISBURG — Six blocks of art, an “open air” artists’ event and more workshops and exhibits than one could shake a paint brush at: It’s time for everyone’s favorite spring fling, Lewisburg’s 32nd annual Celebration of the Arts, which kicks off today and runs through May 10.

    April 24, 2014

  • Roofer convicted of bilking elderly clients

    SUNBURY — A Lewisburg contractor faces up to nine years in state prison after a Northumberland County jury Thursday convicted him on six felony charges of bilking elderly city residents in a roofing scam.

    April 24, 2014

  • Bids opened for Line Mountain school buildings

    MANDATA — Two bids were opened by Line Mountain School District officials Tuesday for the purchase of closed elementary schools in Leck Kill and Dalmatia.

    April 24, 2014

  • MiddWest.jpg Midd-West residents rally

    MIDDLEBURG — A group of Midd-West School District residents are encouraging the community to get involved and attend school board meetings.

     

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cigs24.jpg FDA proposes first regulations for e-cigarettes

    WASHINGTON — The federal government wants to ban sales of electronic cigarettes to minors and require approval for new products and health warning labels under regulations being proposed by the Food and Drug Administration.
    While the proposal being issued Thursday won’t immediately mean changes for the popular devices, the move is aimed at eventually taming the fast-growing e-cigarette industry.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • knoebels24a.jpg Opening day a scream

    April 24, 2014 5 Photos

The Daily Marquee
Poll

How do you eat your chocolate Easter bunny?

Feet first
Tail first
Ears first
     View Results
Photo Galleries
The Valley

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.