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Pepsi Cola To Dump Pepsi Edge By Year's End

May 18th, 2005
by Elliot Maras

Pepsi Cola will dump its slow-selling Pepsi Edge by the end of the year, marking a short shelf life for a drink that, like competitor Coca-Cola C2, offers about half the calories of regular colas, reported the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Pepsi's plans, reported Friday by Beverage Digest and confirmed by the company, raise questions about the future of Coke's C2. While Coke is holding to claims it will keep selling the brand, C2 hasn't had a strong start. U.S. sales totaled 25 million cases during C2's six months on the market in 2004, according to Beverage Digest.

Pepsi Edge sold just 8.6 million cases during the same time frame.

Last year, Pepsi was modest in its forecasts about Edge, which has 50 calories per 8-ounce serving. Coke, however, cranked up the hype achine when it introduced C2.

From the beginning, some were skeptical about the prospects for C2 and Edge, including Morgan Stanley analyst Bill Pecoriello. By fall, it as clear the drinks weren't catching on.

C2's 2004 sales of 25 million cases were far lower than the comparable introduction of Vanilla Coke, which sold 90 million cases during its first partial year in the market in 2002.

While reduced-calorie colas could peter out, big soft drink companies are still looking for ways to reach calorie-conscious consumers, especially men who don't like traditional diet drinks.

Pepsi has just reformulated its one-calorie Pepsi One with a new sweetener, and Coke is preparing to introduce Coca-Cola Zero, which is meant to taste more like Coke Classic than Diet Coke. Morris said he might switch to such a drink if the taste is right.

Editor's Insight: Keep in mind that Pepsi Cola has introduced nearly a dozen low-calorie sodas, according to industry sources, in addition to traditional Diet Pepsi. Diet sodas to an extent are also competing against the rising number of noncarbonated drinks that consumers view as a healthier alternative to traditional soda.

Diet soda's share of the total soda market has gained steadily since the mid 1990s.

Posted on May 21, 2005 in News | Link To This Entry | Comments (1)


Posted by: Steve Schwarz on July 22, 2005 1:03 PM

My wife and I are having a lot of difficulty finding C2 in the central NJ area. We did a Google search and found your blog. Do you know if there's been an official discontinuation or is Coke slowly phasing it out.

We've also tried Coke Zero. I think it tastes 100 times better than Diet Coke..a lot like Coke Classic as you mentioned. My wife, however, still senses an after taste.


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