A Look At CSDs


What influences which carbonated soft drinks (CSDs) consumers buy? Customers most often stick with their "regular" brand, according to a Mintel survey of 1,262 Internet consumers 18 or older who bought soda during the past three months.

Forty-one percent of respondents said their regular brand was "very influential" regarding their purchase decision, and an additional 36 percent said they were "some-what influenced" by their regular brand.

Flowever, convenience store retailers that use in-store promotions, such as coupons and two-fers, to encourage consumers to purchase a particular CSD need not fret. According to the research, 75 percent of respondents said they were either very influenced or somewhat influenced by in-store promotions.

The next three factors influencing customer CSD purchasing decisions were buying a name brand, choice of flavors and the ability to buy a single-serve bottle or can of soda for less than $1, respectively.

The least important factor when purchasing a CSD is the product being organic, the survey revealed. Only 16 percent of respondents were influenced in any way by that factor. Social media marketing campaigns and the placement of a soda next to a favorite snack item also had little influence on consumer CSD buying habits.

On a related note, 2012 CSD launches are on pace to be the lowest in several years. As of April 23, only 54 new CSDs were launched in the United States. If that pace holds up, only about 165 new CSD products will debut this year. That result would significantly trail the past three years. In 2011, 244 new CSDs were launched; 2010 concluded with 280 new CSDs on the market; and 2009 ended with 219 product introductions.

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