Friday, October 24, 2008
During your last trip to the grocery store, you may have noticed a few changes in the soft drink aisle. If you're a fan of Pepsi, Mug Root Beer, Sierra Mistor Mountain Dew, you probably already know what I'm talking about.
Pepsi Bottling Group has officially applied the "smaller is better" philosophy to its packaging. The 12-pack we've all become accustomed to has been temporarily phased-out and replaced by an 8-pack in 20% of America's stores, including the state of Florida, my home state.
Pepsi claims higher prices for energy and food combined to raise expenses by 11%/ They're betting the 8-pack will appear as a better value to consumers. Who does Pepsi think they're fooling?
The 8-pack might be easier to carry around, but that's where the "value" ends for me. I'm used to paying about $3.50 to $4.50 for a 12-pack, $10 for three 12-packs during specials. I just paid $3.50 for the new 8-pack at Publix, which shows that Pepsi is out of touch with the average shopper.
A 6-pack is convenient if you're heading to the beach or having a grill-out with a couple friends, and the 12-pack was perfect to throw in the fridge for a week's supply. Unless I stock-up, buying an 8-pack means I'll be heading back to the grocery store within a couple days. Evidently, I'm not the only consumer who hates the new packaging.
Pepsi spokesmen Jeff Dahncke claims the 12-pack is a thing of the past. He told the St. Petersburg Times.
Want proof the 12-pack-which accounts for half of all soft drink sales - outlived its appeal? Even when Pepsi cut prices, sales volume was only half what it used to be.
Dahncke overlooked many possible contributing factors for the sales slump-including health. An obesity epidemic and an increase in juvenile diabetes cases have combined to raise the public's concern for healthier lifestyles. I'm sure you have a few friends or family members who removed soda from their diet or drastically reduced their daily intake of carbonated beverages.
John Sicher, publisher of Beverage Digest, said the industry "overused" the 12-pack, and that Pepsi's latest move is just the first of many transition tests that consumers will see.
So what can we expect to see next? According to the St. Petersburg Times, Pepsi will phase- out 2-liter bottles in favor 1.5. It will also replace those 20-ounce bottles we often buy at the gas station with 12-ounce plastic bottles and 16-ouncecans.
Maybe I shouldn't be surprised. After all, the notion of "change" has become quite popular this year.
Subscribe to our RSS feed for the latest updates.
***UPDATE: Tell Pepsi your thoughts at bringbackthe12pack.com.
**UPDATE: READ PEPSI'S RESPONSE TO THIS POST.
Pepsi Tests New 8-pack to See if Smaller is Better By Matt O'Hern at 05:11 PM