Why Pepsi must be feeling blue

Your Cover Story regarding the turmoil at Pepsi “All in the best possible taste” (MW May 8) was fascinating, particularly for anyone who has read Roger Enrico’s book on how Pepsi “won” the cola wars when New Coke was launched.

But where did the “satisfactory performance…in the UK” assertion come from?

Ever since the launch of Blue, Pepsi volume has been on a downward spiral (over last summer their volume was down 12.8 per cent and in the first three months of this year, according to Nielsen, their volume fell by 3.7 per cent).

While it may be true that Max is performing well, this is overshadowed by the distinctly lacklustre performance of Regular and Diet Pepsi which has suffered a volume fall of 14.1 per cent since Project Blue compared with an overall market fall of 0.5 per cent.

Virgin Cola, despite little marketing spend, managed in the same period to increase its value share by 8.36 per cent and only showed a 0.5 per cent decline in volume -in line with the overall market figure.

If this magnitude of decline, post “Project Blue” demonstrates that in the UK “the relaunch has not been an unmitigated disaster”, then maybe the 350m was well spent. Personally, however, I would at least hope for a little volume growth if I had spent that money.

But, if that’s too ambitious, then I, for one, am looking forward to Pepsi’s next 350m spend.

Adam Balon

Brand manager

Virgin Cola

London SW7

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