Mini Cans Bring Major Benefits to Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo

More CSD packaging innovation likely from major manufacturers

Steve Holtz, Editor in Chief, CSP Daily News

Pepsi mini cans

ATLANTA & PURCHASE, N.Y. -- The past couple of years have seen a whirlwind of new package sizes for carbonated soft drinks: 20-oz. PET made way for 16-oz. PET, followed by 12-oz. PET and more recently 8-oz. and 16-oz. cans. With each new size came new price points and new challenges to make them all fit in the cold vault of convenience stores.

But what has been a bane for many a category manager appears to be paying off for CSD manufacturers as the leaders of both Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo reflected on the financial success driven by these new packages on recent earnings calls with investors.

“Our smaller-size packs contributed significantly to brand Coca-Cola, growth in the second quarter and year-to-date,” Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola Co., said July 22. “Over 60% of the volume growth in brand Coca-Cola in the second quarter was driven by double-digit growth in our mini can and 16-ounce immediate-consumption packages, reflecting strong consumer demand for smaller packages of ice-cold Coca-Cola.”

Similarly, Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO at PepsiCo., said a day later, “We are pleased with the performance of our expanded package offerings, with strong double-digit growth in mini cans, as well as 12-ounce glass bottle from the second quarter.”

For retailers, this likely means more packaging innovation to come down the line.

“These new packages have enabled us to realize new price-packed revenue benefits while maintaining flexibility for price competitiveness,” Nooyi said. “So that’s another American story.”

And leadership at Coca-Cola concurred, going as far as suggesting these new packages could help turn around CSD sales, which have lagged for the past couple of years.

“We remain optimistic about our sparkling business in North America and around the world,” said Kent, “and we're committed to supporting our brands, committed to driving execution and staying at the forefront of evolving consumer needs. …

“We see a path forward to being able to build more romance with the brand through smaller packages, and that's really an important element in what is also being discussed.”

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