Soda sales going flat
Sales fall for the first time in two decades in the United States, hurt by bottled water as well as sports and caffeine drinks.

NEW YORK ( - Soda sales have gone flat for the first time in 20 years in the U.S., according to a new report.

2005 was the first time since 1985 that the number of cases of soda sold in the United States declined from a year earlier, said Beverage Digest, an industry trade publication.

The overall volume of soda sold sagged 0.7 percent to 10.2 billion cases last year.

John Sicher, publisher of Beverage Digest, said that consumers were making a permanent migration to noncarbonated drinks.

"I think consumers are migrating on an accelerating basis to other kinds of beverages -- mainly water and sports drinks," he said.

"There's also growth in bottled teas and energy drinks. This is a migration from one category to several others, and I see this trend continuing over the next few years."

He said he expected to see major sales growth in 2005 for bottled water, sports drinks and energy drinks when those figures become available later this year.

Market leader Coke (Research) fell 0.1 percent in volume, while runner-up Pepsi (Research) fell 1.2 percent. Number three Cadbury-Schweppes (Research) -- which owns Dr. Pepper, 7-Up and Canada Dry -- saw a 0.6 percent volume increase last year.


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