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PepsiCo, Coke lose market share as Americans drink less soda

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Coca-Cola Co and PepsiCo Inc's sodas continued to lose US market share in 2016, hurt by Americans ditching the drinks in favour of bottled water.

[NEW YORK] Coca-Cola Co and PepsiCo Inc's sodas continued to lose US market share in 2016, hurt by Americans ditching the drinks in favour of bottled water.

The beverage giants saw soft-drink volume decline last year, with per capita consumption falling to a 31-year low, according to trade publication Beverage-Digest. Still, total volume grew for the two companies, with their water and sports-drink brands picking up the slack.

Bottled water beat carbonated soft drinks in sales volume for the first time, according to Beverage Marketing Corp.

"The beverage industry has undergone a seismic shift," said Michael Bellas, chief executive officer of the group. "Bottled water's emergence as the No 1 beverage type clearly signals a fundamental change in what consumers want from their beverages."

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Atlanta-based Coca-Cola and Purchase, New York-based PepsiCo have expanded their portfolios of beverages and diversified pack sizes of carbonated drinks to appeal to increasingly health-conscious consumers. Volume of Coca-Cola's Dasani grew 5.3 per cent and PepsiCo's Aquafina gained 10.9 per cent in 2016, according to Beverage-Digest's annual report.

Smaller soda cans and bottles contributed to a 2 per cent gain in carbonated soft-drink revenue to US$80.6 billion from US$79 billion in 2015. That's a sign of success for Coca-Cola, which has increasingly focused on profit, rather than volume.

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