That may strike some as an oxymoron. But for Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, it’s a marketing opportunity.
In coming months, both companies will introduce new carbonated drinks that are fortified with vitamins and minerals: Diet Coke Plus and Tava, which is PepsiCo’s new offering.
They will be promoted as “sparkling beverages.” The companies are not calling them soft drinks because people are turning away from traditional soda, which has been hurt in part by publicity about its link to obesity.
While the soda business remains a $68 billion industry in the United States, consumers are increasingly reaching for bottled water, sparkling juices and green tea drinks. In 2005, the amount of soda sold in this country dropped for the first time in recent history. Even the diet soda business has slowed.