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Comment: Coca-Cola Co Gets Savvy with 'Mini' Bottles

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The move by The Coca-Cola to launch a "mini" drinks bottle comes as the soft drinks giant strives to improve profits in a tough US soft drinks market.

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Reports this week have said that the soft drinks firm is set to launch a 12.5oz bottle to follow the launch of its 16oz bottles last year. Coca-Cola will also cut the suggested retail price on its recently-introduced eight-pack of 7.5oz Coca-Cola "mini'' cans in supermarkets by around 20%, to US$2.99.

If confirmed, the launch would be anything but surprising, given that a number of new bottle and can sizes have hit the shelves in recent months. Earlier this year, PepsiCo caused a stir with the roll-out of its skinny' Diet Pepsi cans in the US.

There are likely to several factors dove-tailing on these moves. They will please the health lobby, help cash-strapped consumers to keep buying and, potentially, improve profit margins.

Datamonitor consumer packaged goods analyst, Michael Hughes, believes the launch will benefit both the manufacturer and consumer. "From a consumer perspective, it will appeal to those shoppers looking to moderate calorie consumption and purchase lower priced single units of the beverage," Hughes told just-drinks yesterday (20 September). "From the manufacturer perspective, it is likely to result in the ability to charge more per ounce of cola."

Hughes added that the key for Coca-Cola, particularly with its bottles, is to ensure that readjustments do not detract from the distinctive packaging that has become synonymous with the Coca-Cola brand.

The likes of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are having to work harder in the US, amid difficult economic conditions and a soft drinks market that has shown volume decline for six years.

On this basis, the 'mini' format looks like a savvy move.


Sectors: Soft drinks, Water

Companies: PepsiCo

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