This post might lack a clear connection to packaging but it is such an interesting piece of work made by Philip H. Howard at Michigan State University. He has recorded and plotted the flora and fauna of soft drinks available in the Michigan area.
I can’t say that I agree with his point, which is that the variety and choice of soft drinks for the consumer is more imagined than for real when you look at the owner structure. But I like the way he has meticulously recorded and then visually displayed the universe of soft drinks. One of the best overviews I have seen. http://bit.ly/d9BY23
Carbonated Soft Drinks is a huge market but in decline. It has lately struggled to defend its shares against the tremendous growth of bottled water. Water demand is now flattening but CSD volumes seem to keep on going down.
This goes more for the US market, which is the largest by far, than anywhere else. According to Beverage Digest, CSD was 2.1% down in 2009 which is a bit better than the 3.0% down the previous year had to offer. Still not what you want if you are a CSD supplier, the volumes are now all the way back to where they were in 1996.
The big brands are also suffering the most, the top 7 brands aggregated market share has dropped and that on a falling market. Both Coca-Cola and PepsiCo suffered bigger volume losses than the market both in 2009 and 2008. They have recorded diminishing volumes for the last 5 or 6 years but during the same time they have managed to increase prices, way above the inflation. This can in theory compensate for the CSD giants lost volumes.