Marketing Pressure Squeezing Pepsi and Coke

The marketing pressure squeezing Pepsi and Coke may complete the work that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg could not. Consumer and medical marketing research by the Credit Suisse Research Institute found that an overwhelming majority of doctors in the U.S., U.K., and Asia tie sugar consumption to obesity, diabetes, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.Doctors Link Sugar to Disease

With these perceptions increasingly driving consumer aversion to sugary drinks, the pressure will grow to abandon a strategy of contending that sugary sodas are part of a healthy lifestyle, says Adweek. Ads such as Coke’s “Live Like Grandpa Did” will become an unmistakable, laughable waste of money.

The Credit Suisse researchers found that the link to diabetes has an even more profound effect on consumers than the link to obesity. Said Kurt Carlson, a Georgetown University Marketing Professor who collaborated on the study:

People are not willing to punish the brand for obesity, which seems like a lifestyle problem. But diabetes is considered a disease, and many consumers see the parent brand as contributing to it.

Stock analyst Henry Kawabe sees the Coca Cola Company as more vulnerable to these pressures than Pepsi, because the latter company has better positioned itself against these dynamics.

Maybe that explains why Pepsi isn’t running any Grandpa denial ads.

Click here to read more in Adweek, here to read the Credit Suisse Report, here to read more from Kawabe, and here to read more from CNBC.

Hello, Old Enemy, photograph © Kevin Trotman / flickr

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