Industry Analysis: Soft Drinks
Meghan Deichert, Meghan Ellenbecker, Emily Klehr, Leslie Pesarchick, & Kelly Ziegler Strategic Management in a Global Context February 22, 2006
Industry Analysis: Soft Drinks Barbara Murray (2006c) explained the soft drink industry by stating, “For years the story in the nonalcoholic sector centered on the power struggle between…Coke and Pepsi. But as the pop fight has topped out, the industry's giants have begun relying on new product flavors…and looking to noncarbonated beverages for growth.” In order to fully understand the soft drink industry, the following should be considered: the dominant economic factors, five competitive sources, industry ...view middle of the document...
8%) and bottled water (9.3%). Sports drinks and energy drinks are also expected to increase in growth as competitors start adopting new product lines.
Profitability in the soft drink industry will remain rather solid, but market saturation especially in the U.S. has caused analysts to suspect a slight deceleration of growth in the industry (2005). Because of this, soft drink leaders are establishing themselves in alternative markets such as the snack, confections, bottled water, and sports drinks industries (Barbara Murray, 2006c). In order for soft drink companies to continue to grow and increase profits they will need to diversify their product offerings. The geographic scope of the competitive rivalry explains some of the economic features found in the soft drink industry. According to Barbara Murray (2006c), “The sector is dominated by three major players…Coca-Cola is king of the soft drink-empire and boasts a global market share of around 50%, followed by PepsiCo at about 21%, and Cadbury Schweppes at 7%.” Aside from these major players, smaller companies such as Cott Corporation and National Beverage Company make up the remaining market share. All five of these companies make a portion of their profits outside of the United States. Table 3 shows that the US does not hold the highest percentage of the global market share, therefore companies need to be able to compete globally in order to be successful. Table 4 indicates that Coca-Cola has a similar distribution of sales in Europe, North America, and Asia. On the other hand, the majority of PepsiCo’s profits come from the United States (see Table 5). Compared to PepsiCo, Cadbury Schweppes has a stronger global presence with their global mix (see Table 7). Smaller companies are also trying to establish a global presence. Cott Corporation is a good example as indicated in Table 8. The saturation of the US markets has increased the global expansion by soft drink leaders to increase their profits. The ease of entry and exit does not cause competitive pressure on the major soft drink companies. It would be very difficult for a new company to enter this industry because they
would not be able to compete with the established brand names, distribution channels, and high capital investment. Likewise, leaving this industry would be difficult with the significant loss of money from the fixed costs, binding contracts with distribution channels, and advertisements used to create the strong brand images. This industry is well established already, and it would be difficult for any company to enter or exit successfully. Three leading companies have prominent presence in the soft drink industry. The leaders include the Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo, and Cadbury Schweppes. According to the CocaCola annual report (2004), it has the most soft drink sales with $22 billion. The Coca-Cola product line has several popular soft drinks including Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Fanta, Barq’s, and Sprite, selling...