May 23 - Americans gobbled an average 43.8 gallons of soft drinks last year and Pepsi is rethinking U.S. pricing to discourage holiday-discount hoarding. Conway G. Gittens reports.
The Daily Digit today is 43.8 gallons. That's how much soda an average American drank in 2012, according to Beverage Digest, a publication that covers the industry. Now PepsiCo wants to keep that up, while, at the same time, maintain a consistent flow of money. That's why the company is tweaking its pricing policies to wean consumers off the habit of buying soda only when it is on sale. And it's doing so by narrowing the gap between soda prices on holidays and regular days. The goal is to taper off the discounts on holidays, when a 12-pack of 12-ounce cans can cost as little as $2.50 to $3, and lower prices throughout the rest of the year, when the same package can cost as much as $5.99. Reason behind the big shift? Pepsi is trying to change consumer habits for those who stock-up on drinks during discount periods around major U.S. holidays, like Christmas and Thanksgiving, and encourage them to buy soda more consistently throughout the year. The strategy has been tested with a few retailers in several markets around the United States, and is rolling out more broadly this summer.