PepsiCo returns focus to soft drinks

NEW YORK PepsiCo is directing attention back to its soft drink brands, to try to beef up declining sales, the company has said. Starting in 2009, the company will kick off a round of new promotions and try alternative approaches to marketing its carbonated drinks, spokespersons have said.

Pepsi will make an extended commitment to redirect money and attention to its soft drinks over the next several years, The New York Times last week reported.

Carbonated beverage sales have dropped in the United States, and Pepsi has seen a decline. Its Aquafina bottled water business has also been hit with lagging sales, despite the strong sales of its overseas business and strong sales of its Frito-Lay snack products.

Pepsi’s biggest rival, Coca-Cola, has announced in lieu of the drop in soft drink sales that it would be raising prices on its soft drinks.

The U.S. beverage segment reported 1 percent revenue growth in the second quarter of 2008, but volume dropped by 1 percent, according to reports in The Times. PepsiCo’s individual shares fell by 2.9 percent, or $1.72, on Friday to $57.80 per share.

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