PepsiCo has a new sweetener mix
Attempting to revive its flagship diet drink, the company is adding acesulfame potassium to the mix.
Market away from home
In recent years, PepsiCo has maintained a strong focus on improving sales in emerging markets, especially through its packaged snacks division. This strategy has paid off well for the company and the revenue for PepsiCo from emerging markets has grown from around $8 billion in 2006 to around $22 billion in 2011, fueling a bulk of the company's growth during the period.
But this growth has come at a cost to the company's beverage sales in its home market, North America. The company in 2011 witnessed a decline in its market share in Carbonated Soft Drinks in the U.S. for the fourth consecutive year.
Moreover, developed economies seem to be moving away from sugary soft drinks due to rising health consciousness. In the face of such challenges, cola companies are turning to what they have become famous for over the years -- flooding the consumer with advertising while fiddling with the way drinks taste to improve their appeal.
More ads, more taste
PepsiCo raised its ad spending by around $600 million in 2011. Celebrities such as Beyonce and Nicki Minaj were used in ad campaigns to promote its flagship drinks. The company also signed a deal with the U.S. National Football League to sponsor the Super Bowl halftime show. Such publicity measures have proved somewhat successful, according to Forbes, with the company reporting a small gain in market share in the third quarter of 2012, despite a 2% decline in overall volume sales of CSDs.
Maintaining this momentum, the company is now introducing a new combination of artificial sweeteners for Diet Pepsi in an attempt to refresh the old, Time reported. While the drink traditionally used aspartame as the exclusive sweetener, Pepsi is now adding acesulfame potassium to the mix. The company claims that while this will have no significant impact on the product's overall taste, it will help it in retaining its flavor for a longer period. The roll out of this new mixture has already begun in New York, Omaha, Nebraska, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
Diet Pepsi contributed around $5 billion in revenues in 2011. The drink's market share has been on the decline for the last 10 years as it lost out to Diet Coke, its key competitor in the zero-calorie segment. Whether the company's attempts at reviving its sales in the North American market delivers a big enough impact remains to be seen, considering the increasing competition from Coca-Cola threatening its market share globally and Dr Pepper Snapple eating away at the domestic market.
However, if the company's attempts at reviving sales are relatively successful and Pepsi is able to maintain its market share in the global arena, we expect an upside of 15% for the company's stocks. Going forward, we remain bearish about the company's prospects in the CSD market.
We have a price estimate of $79 for PepsiCo, which is about 10% higher than the current market price.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
Like many companies this winter, the fast-food giant blamed a drop in same-store sales on the weather. But could its problems be bigger than a snowbank?
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.
Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.
Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.