Pepsi Bottling Group Tests Eight-Packs

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Pepsi Bottling Group Tests Eight-Packs

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- In the face of rising food prices and dampened consumer spending, Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG) launched a test last week across Florida that replaced the iconic 12-pack of cans with an eight-pack, the St. Petersburg Times reported.

Florida is not the only test market. PBG launched the test in 20 percent of the United States, as the soda company's sales volume slumped 6 percent from consumers purchasing fewer soft drinks and bottled water, and shifted to off brands, the report stated.

The eight-pack test crosses the entire Pepsi line, including Mountain Dew, Sierra Mist and Lipton Brisk, according to the report.

Other tests include debuting an 18-pack, shrinking 2-liter bottles to 1.5 liters and replacing 20-ounce bottles typically sold in convenience stores with 12-ounce plastic bottles and 16-ounce cans, the newspaper reported.

"The industry overused the 12-pack," John Sicher, publisher of Beverage Digest, a beverage trade publication, told the newspaper. "This is just the start of a variety of new soft drink configurations you'll see tested."

After Pepsi cut prices on 12-packs—which account for half of all soft drink sales—sales volume was only half of what it used to be, PBG spokesman Jeff Dahncke told the St. Petersburg Times.

Shrinking the package by a third drops the retail price to $3.33, with a sales price at $2 to $ 2.50, the St. Petersburg Times reported.

"In today's economic environment, entry-point prices are critical," Eric Foss, PBG chief executive, told the paper.