Blog: Soft drinks dream still alive in North America

Michelle Russell | 21 October 2011

Despite the North American soft drinks market continuing to be a challenging one, neither PepsiCo or The Coca-Cola Co appear willing to surrender just yet.

On the release of PepsiCo's third-quarter results last week, chairman & CEO Indra Nooyi admitted that the company has more work to do in its North America beverages division. Despite a small rise in volumes in the region, Nooyi insisted that the company is "intensely working" at driving growth in the region.

It was Coca-Cola's turn next, with the release of it's third-quarter results yesterday (18 October). Asked whether the company sees growth potential in North America over the next several years, CEO, Muhtar Kent was quick to defend the market.

"If you look at what we have been able to achieve here in the US ... we totally, respectfully, disagree that [no growth] is where our mind is," he said.

"Demographics in North America are in our favour ... we have every reason to believe that, if we can't grow here, it is our fault and we won't accept that."

While North America is unlikely to grow at the same pace as India or China, the region remains a part of the business models of most major soft drinks firms.

Challenges from rising commodity costs have meant both Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have had to increase prices in the region. But, while it may appear that beverage firms are treading water in what has become a struggling and rather shaky market, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are clearly reluctant to give up completely on the American dream.


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