New Soft Drink Sales Flat

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New Soft Drink Sales Flat

ATLANTA -- Coca-Cola's Vanilla Coke and Pepsi's Mountain Dew Code Red started out with a bang in retail markets, but for the first time since their debut, the brands show declining sales in key channels.

In the first quarter of 2003, Mountain Dew Code Red's sales volumes dropped more than 40 percent in supermarkets and convenience store channels, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution In addition, Vanilla Coke's market share dropped by 30 percent in convenience stores between October and March.

However, with 90 million cases of Vanilla Coke sold in the United States last year, the company is very pleased with the brand. "After the initial trial period, our repeat rates are much higher than we would expect," said Jeff Herbert, senior vice president for Coca-Cola trademark brands. "This is a brand that's going to be around for a long time."

Pepsi stands behind its Code Red as well. "We're still very pleased with Code Red," said Bart Casabona, spokesperson for Pepsi.

Each company continues to rollout new products, with Coke's release of Sprite Remix, and Pepsi's plans to rollout Mountain Dew LiveWire for Labor Day.