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.
Men turn to chocolate as comfort food just as often as women
WATERBURY, Vt. Movies often portray broken-hearted and stressed out women gorging themselves with Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, chocolate cake or a gargantuan bag of M&Ms, but it seems they aren’t the only gender with a serious sweet tooth. According to a Brand Keys survey, men are hitting the office vending machine more than usual, due to financial and business-related stress, recent survey results collected by Ben & Jerry’s ice cream company said.
All 750 men who participated in the Ben & Jerry’s survey reported eating more chocolate in the survey taken Friday through Sunday.
“There’s so little that one can actually do about the economy, and people are feeling so disconnected from the problems and the solutions that it was just interesting to see how consumers were reacting,” Robert Passikoff, president of customer loyalty firm Brand Keys, told the press. “Buying a candy bar is in fact something they can do.”
Chocolate is known for its many health benefits, despite its high amount of calories and fat. Besides the obvious advantage of being absolutely delicious, chocolate contains antioxidants and sends endorphins that reduce pain and decrease stress to the brain. Serotonin, a neurotransmitter used in many antidepressant medications, also affects the brain, often producing a more cheerful, upbeat mood.
On the other hand, a somewhat recent study by the Black Dog Institute in the Journal of Affective Disorders claims that chocolate may actually make depression worse, depending on the individual’s personality. If you’re simply a chocolate craver, you’re safe. For cravers, chocolate stimulates the dopamine system and provides an enjoyable experience, said Professor Gordon Parker, executive director of the Sydney-based Black Dog Institute. “But the emotional eaters, people who eat chocolate to relieve boredom, stress or clinical depression, are looking for an opioid effect to improve their mood.” For them, chocolate may produce an initial relief that quickly disappears, sometimes heightening their earlier, negative mood.
So what kind of guilty pleasures are people reaching for? The 750 men surveyed preferred Snickers over any other. The top ten were:
2. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
3. Kit Kate Bars
4. Milky Way
6. Baby Ruth
7. Three Musketeers
9. Oh Henry!
Gatorade extends its lineup with functional reformulations of Tiger sports drinks
CHICAGO Gatorade is undergoing a health makeover, announced PepsiCo at this week’s National Association of Convenience Stores show in Chicago. The company will be releasing a more wholesome way to “quench your thirst” with a reformulation of Gatorade’s Tiger line of sports drinks. The line, which will be subtitled “Focus,” is to include functional ingredients that improve mental acuity.
Gatorade plans to take their health strategy further with Be-Strong, their protein-drink that competes with brands like Muscle Milk and Labrada Lean Body On The Go. The morning drink, Gatorade AM, is to be renamed “Shine” and will include non-caffeine energy ingredients.
Until this point, Gatorade had not strayed far from the sugar-packed water recipe with which it began in 1965. The only exceptions to this have been recent: the March debut of Tiger, which has more electrolytes than other Gatorade products, and last year’s release of the G2 extension with less sugar. Despite decades of the same basic formula, Gatorade remains the leader in sports drinks and is endorsed by the National Football League, Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association, among other major professional and collegiate organizations.