Coca-Cola has lost market share to Pepsi in the past quarter despite its high-profile sponsorship of the Olympic Games and Torch Relay.
Coca-Cola floats have been touring the country with the torch since mid-May, handing out drinks and giving the brand publicity on news bulletins. The company is believed to have paid £50m for the privilege of being a top tier sponsor. The return on the investment so far must make for grim reading in the marketing department of the soft drinks giant.
In its interim management statement this week, Britvic said Pepsi had taken market share from Coca-Cola in volume and value terms in the three months to 8 July. It attributed its success to marketing activity for Euro 2012, which included a ‘crowd surfing’ TV ad with top footballers. “Pepsi has become synonymous with football and our recent activity around this has helped drive sales,” said a spokeswoman.
Pepsi was growing faster than Coca-Cola coming into the latest quarter, with the sugar-free variant Pepsi Max the star performer. Its sales leapt 18.3% last year, while rival Diet Coke only managed 5.8% growth [SymphonyIRI 52 w/e 18 February 2012).
However, Britvic’s share gains in the last quarter were made in a declining market -its own carbonate sales fell 4%. “Disappointing weather has had a marked impact,” said Britvic CEO Paul Moody.