Coke debuts smaller bottles

The company hopes its smaller, cheaper packages will appeal to consumers on tight budgets.

By Kim Peterson Sep 19, 2011 2:56PM
Americans have been drinking less soda for years, mostly for health reasons. But as this economic crisis lingers, people are also cutting back on soda to save money.

That's causing problems for Coca-Cola (KO), Pepsi (PEP) and other soft-drink makers. Soda volumes in the U.S. are down for six years straight.

So now, Coke is downsizing. The company will debut 12.5-ounce bottles for 89 cents each, The Wall Street Journal reports. The move continues a trend toward smaller bottles for the company. Last year, it began selling a 16-ounce bottle for 99 cents -- slimmed down from the 20-ounce bottles in convenience stores.

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Coke has also begun selling "mini" cans in the 7.5-ounce size. The company will cut prices on those to $2.99.

The idea is to offer smaller quantities at more appealing prices. The hope is that they will resonate at a time when unemployment stubbornly sits above 9% and many households are living paycheck-to-paycheck.

Experimenting with new sizes is a change for Coke, which has normally been just fine with three offerings: 20-ounce bottles, two-liter bottles and standard cans. In Mexico, however, Coke is sold in more than 30 packages, from tiny 6.75 ounces to three-liter bottles, the Journal reports.

Coke is hoping to maintain the momentum over Pepsi it has been building. Even though Americans are drinking less soda, Coke has upped its share of the U.S. market to 34.3% this year compared with 32.8% for Pepsi.

26Comments
Sep 19, 2011 4:45PM
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Smaller bottles at a higher per oz price isnt a solution.  I know I have certain limits as to what I will pay for Coke, which is my only brand of soft drink.  $1.25 is the top price I'll ever pay for a 2 liter and 2.99 for a 12 pack of 12 oz cans is the top price I will pay for cans.  In the end its probably a good thing if they keep the prices higher cause people like me will ween themselves off Cokes and drink far more water anyway.  Win win for the consumer.  Not so sure how its gonna work out for Coke though.
Sep 19, 2011 5:11PM
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Coke will do what all the other companies have done, small quantity at the same price as the larger quantity, just to make more profit.  These companies do not anything for the consumer!
Sep 19, 2011 6:23PM
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Ok. a 12 pack case of soda is 144 ounces total. A 2 liter is about 67 ounces.The average price of a 12 pack is $4.00. A 2 liter is .99 on sale - 1.25. The mini 6 packs i've seen are 4 - 5 dollars. So exactly where are they saving us money? By giving us less and charging more and using deceptive marketing and packaging....are you serious! Don't believe the hype.
Sep 19, 2011 5:18PM
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Ice cream anyone?  Dreyers started the 4/5 of a half gallon, now everyone makes the same size, they call it a half gallon, but it's not, prices remained the same.
Sep 19, 2011 5:41PM
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It seems that these soda companies understand that price is an issue.  Smaller cans/bottles (costing more per oz.) are not the answer to that.  2 years ago, a 6 pack of 24 oz bottles of Coke was $2. where I live.  They now run $4.78...Pepsi products cost even more.  Can I afford to pay $4.78?  Sure.  Will I ever do it?  No way.  I don't believe that Coke's costs for production and transport have more than doubled in 2 years, though my grocery costs have.  I have learned to re-appreciate the taste of water, and discovered water flavorings such as mio and crystal light are just as satisfying, and cost much less.  I went from consuming 6-8 bottles of Diet Coke per day to 1.  The more these companies make their products ridiculously expensive (come on...it's cheap to produce), the more soda consumption will go down, and smaller bottles where we can pay even more for less product are not the solution.  What kind of fools are running these companies (and their marketing departments) these days?

Sep 19, 2011 5:19PM
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sorry went by walmart yesterday.. small cans of all brands seemed to be around 3/5 -  3/4 the price of a 24 pack of the same...  how's that helping cash strapped customers? Guess we're gonna have to try the koolaid... 1 dollar a packet or less and makes a whole 2 liter size pitcherful. 
Sep 19, 2011 5:46PM
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We all are getting screwed by these companies, I myself refuse to pay more than $5 per case of 12 oz cans, I just wait until they have a coupon sale at our local grocery store for 2 cases for 10 bucks I go in by about 4 to 8 cases, then use them sparingly, until the next sale, been doing this for over a year now.
Sep 19, 2011 5:02PM
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They should start selling a party pack!   A 12 pack with three cans of each of the following; Sprite, Coke, Mr.Pibb, Root Beer.  
Sep 19, 2011 5:06PM
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WHAT! the original 8oz coke wasn't small enough???????????????
Sep 19, 2011 5:54PM
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More cost less product? No thanks, I'll get a Sam's Cola or Kroger brand. I've also started drinking more water. Besides I've worked in the grocery business for 27 years and Coke already had containers smaller than the 12 oz cans and no one bought them. They sat on the shelfs. For the price per serving, it was a loser. Coke or Pepsi always alternate sales each week in the food stores for a 12 pk at 12oz.

Perhaps this could be named "The Netflix Principle".

Sep 19, 2011 5:21PM
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How can this be a Coke "DEBUT" when BOTH Coke, AND Pepsi, put their sodas in 16 OUNCE BOTTLES 20 YEARS AGO, but us Americans wanted MORE soda, so Coke, and Pepsi, obliged us by DEBUTING their 20 OUNCE BOTTLES, REMEMBER?!!!!!
Sep 19, 2011 6:18PM
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Or....cash-tight spenders may just wait for soda to go on sale.
Sep 19, 2011 5:47PM
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I totally agree with the other statements, to me you are going to add a smaller portion but it cost me more money. I see many companies changing the size of their products but the price does not reflect a smaller portion or size. And also, coke has introduced the 1.25 liter soft drinks , where as most of us know the original 2 liter was always around $1.00 or $1.25, now the 2 liter is more and the 1.25 liter if the price the 2 liter use to be. Thanks coke for bringing yet another size that is only to raise the price of the original size :(
Sep 19, 2011 5:17PM
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"We look for those 7.5 ounce cans for ourselves and mainly for our Kids, Grandkids, and neighbor's kids who stop by....No Waste, plus it cuts down on their Sugar intake...Walmart Stocks them NOW & THEN but not on a steady basis...I'd like to see all Coke's products sold in 7.5 ounce cans including Ginger Ale.."

If your worried about sugar intake, why are you and your kids drinking POP in the first place?
Sep 19, 2011 7:02PM
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<stepping outside to get my sun tea>
Sep 19, 2011 7:53PM
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And of course, in Mexico, Coca-Cola is made with sugar and not with this horrible crud used in the US as a sweetener called High Fructose Corn Syrup.  So, how does it feel to know that we are getting a crude facsimile of the "real thing" here in the US where the product originated, while outside of the country to the south, they are still getting the original formula, the REAL "Real Thing"?  Pisses me off to no end.  I want real coca-cola, not the stuff with HFCS in it.  Compared to the Mexican coke, US coke tastes rancid.
Sep 19, 2011 6:56PM
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Coca-cola USA has been screwing the small buisness for years,they cater to big super markets
Sep 19, 2011 7:36PM
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This can really work out well for Coke. The 20 oz is only 10 cents cheaper than a 2 liter and less than 1/3 the amount. Maybe they can sell the 12 oz for the same as the 20 oz.. What a marketing coup that could be.
Sep 19, 2011 7:59PM
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And for all you americans claiming that you don't want the sugar, YOU'RE NOT DRINKING SUGAR in your sodas.  ALMOST EVERY REGULAR SODA MADE IN THE US TODAY IS SWEETENED WITH HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  unless of course you buy pepsi throwback, mountain dew throwback or sierra mist.

 

And before you say that there is no difference, believe me, THERE IS a difference between sugar and HFCS  (any wonder why with the almost total takeover of the sweetener market by HFCS within the past 20 years, we have an amazing spike in cases of diabetes that it is called a mahor health epidemic???   Sugar has been used for centuries and we did not have even close to the current rate of diabetes.

 

Dec 12, 2011 7:00PM
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I think its a good idea to stop the drinking of soft drinks,

look at all the fatties out there swigging down as much sugar,high fructose and all that stuff that is no good for you.

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