Pop vs. Soda?

Kum & Go website stirs up fizzy debate

Greg Lindenberg, Editor, CSP

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- Convenience retailer Kum & Go LC has launched the Pop vs. Soda website, www.pop-vs-soda.com. "Kum & Go knows the extreme loyalties involved in the pop/soda divide across the country and is going to resolve the war on carbonated words through the official 2008 Kum & Go Pop vs. Soda debate," the retailer said. The promotion runs from May 15 to August 31.

“The pop/soda divide is an ongoing trend we 've noticed in our stores over the years. This summer, Kum & Go is asking consumers to officially [image-nocss] decide for themselves,” said Kevin Krause, senior vice president of marketing for Kum & Go.

"There will be several other product promotions this summer," Kum & Go spokesperson Sarah Wille told CSP Daily News. "The idea is to provide a limited-time price to customers on one of our best-selling products—the 32-oz. fountain drink."

The company says on the site, "This summer, Kum & Go is taking the pop-or-soda debate to the next level by tracking actual sales in more than 430 stores." Votes are tallied when consumers purchase one of two 32-oz. discounted fountain cups labeled either “pop” or “soda." "Ringing up the UPC tracks the sales count," Wille said.

The site tells visitors "make your voice heard" and allows them to click on four choices of what they call carbonated beverages—"pop," "soda," "coke" or "other." It also has a comment function and posts the comments on the website on the red side for pop and the blue side for soda.

The site also lets visitors scroll over states in Kum & Go's marketing region, colored red or blue based on sales of pop or soda, to view the percentage of in-store sales in each state that customers designated as pop, soda, coke or other, as well as in terms of online votes.

So far, for in-store sales, pop is winning in nine of the 12 states, compared to soda, which has only three states. Online, pop leads with 55%, with soda second with 34%; coke and other follow, both with 5%.

Although it is a standalone site, Pop vs. Soda contains a Store Locator link that takes visitors back to the official Kum & Go site, www.kumandgo.com.

Click the Download Now button below to read Pop vs. Soda: The History.

West Des Moines, Iowa-based Kum & Go has more than 430 convenience stores in 12 states (Iowa, Arkansas, Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wyoming and Wisconsin). Kum & Go provides customers a proprietary mix of products under the Hiland brand name. Other proprietary product offerings include Java Ridge Premium Coffee, Napa Creek and Sea Ridge wines, Go Fresh Market sandwiches, Nuclear energy drinks and Nutri2O nutraceutical waters.

Please be sure to vote for your own preference in the "pop vs. soda" debate in today's Kraft/CSP Daily News Poll.