New Dr Pepper Snapple Products Gaining At-TEN-tion

Low-calorie line bringing incremental sales to CSDs

Steve Holtz, Editor in Chief, CSP Daily News

PLANO, Texas -- Dr Pepper Snapple Group's recently introduced TEN beverages have achieved 10% of the company trademark where available, according to the company, representing a quick and healthy build as the company seeks to improve sales of its carbonated-soft-drink brands while battling an overall dip in CSD sales.

"Where we currently have distribution, these products are approximately 10% of the core trademarks total sales, and they've been highly incremental to the CSD category, meaning that we are achieving our goal of bringing lapsed consumers back to the category," said president and CEO Larry Young during an earnings conference call April 24. "The teams have done an excellent job on getting the execution out there."

Even with the line of 10-calorie products only currently available in about 65% of the U.S. market, the Plano, Texas-based beverage-maker is seeing healthy boosts.

"The TEN sales are incremental to the entire LRB (liquid-refreshment beverage) category, not just CSDs," Young said. "So it's hard to talk about the success and really show success when you got a category that's down."

The TEN line includes 10-calorie versions of Dr Pepper Snapple Group's 7-Up, Sunkist, Canada Dry, RC Cola and A&W Root Beer, which were introduced in January. The first brand in the lineup, Dr Pepper TEN, rolled out in 2011.

The rollout of the line extensions will continue over the coming months, said chief financial officer Martin Ellen. "We remain committed to investing in excess of $30 million incrementally to support this critical launch," he said.

Marketing support behind the launch has included:

  • A national TV spot that began airing mid-March and will continue through the summer.
  • Social-media boosts with consumer-created videos available on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
  • In February, Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast McKayla Maroney made an appearance at Penn Station, renaming the spot TEN Station for the day and handing out samples.
  • Maroney also took part in a media blitz around TEN, with coverage on Fox & Friends, CNN Starting Point and other programs, garnering more than 300 million impressions, according to the company.

"What I like is that we stood behind that we're not putting [TEN] in [stores] if we don't get incremental space," Young said. "It's critical that we get this product in the consumer's hands. ... We'll continue to be patient with this launch because we know consumption habits take time to change, and we've proven that TEN can bring consumers back to the category. ... It's absolutely critical we reinvigorate the CSD category and bring consumers back to the products that they know and love. And we're doing that with our TEN platform, giving them the great taste and full mouth-feel of a regular CSD, but with only 10 calories."

Steve Holtz, CSP/Winsight By Steve Holtz, Editor in Chief, CSP Daily News
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