Beverage World presents the latest news from across the worldwide beverage market.

Pepsi regains No. 2 spot as diet decline continues

Pepsi-Cola supplanted Diet Coke as the No. 2 soda brand in the U.S. by volume in 2014 as Americans continued to flee diet soft drinks, according to industry data published Thursday. Overall U.S. soda consumption contracted 0.9%, the 10th straight yearly decline, as health-conscious consumers drop traditional carbonated drinks for everything from water to energy drinks to tea. (Wall Street Journal)


Advertising does not increase alcohol consumption: study

A new study from the University of Texas provides further scientific evidence that alcohol advertising does not increase overall consumption. The study, led by Dr. Gary Wilcox from the University of Texas at Austin, analyzed the relationship between annual alcohol advertising expenditures and per capita sales of beer, wine and spirits in the U.S. from 1971-2012.


Distilled spirits industry unites on key tax legislation

Trade associations representing both large and small distillers announced they are uniting to advocate for legislation to reduce the federal excise tax on distilled spirits. Members of the Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS) and the American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA) agreed to pursue joint tax legislation that sets a small producer excise tax rate of $2.70 per proof gallon on the first 100,000 gallons and a top rate of $9.00 on all spirits above the 100,000 gallon threshold. Importantly, the two trade groups agreed that these rates should apply to all distillers regardless of size, and to imported spirits as well as domestic products.


Foreign markets thirsty for America's craft beer

America’s craft beer industry isn’t just taking away market share from Budweiser, Miller and Coors. It’s starting to impact brewers in other countries as well. Craft beer export volume was up by 35.7% in 2014 for a total of $99.7 million, according to the Brewers Association, the trade group for American independent craft brewers. Brazil showed the biggest surge of interest in American craft beer, with year-over-year export growth to the country surging 64%. (Fortune)


Capitalizing on trends, Reed’s sales jump 16%

Sales for Reed's Inc., marketers of top-selling natural sodas, jumped 16 percent to a record $43.3 million in its fiscal year ending December 31, 2014. Results were driven by 20 percent gross sales growth of Reed's Ginger Brews, 16 percent gross sales growth in Virgil's Craft Soda, and 38 percent gross sales growth in Kombucha, the company announced.


Coke Consolidated debuts new Louisville DC

Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, the largest independent Coca-Cola bottler in the country unveiled a state-of-the-art, 305,000-square-foot facility in Louisville, Ky. The bottler renovated a once-vacant warehouse, building office space and adding a 100,000 square feet. "Coca-Cola Consolidated sells about 300 million Coke products within a 13-state area in the Mid-Atlantic part of the country,' said CCBCC Chairman and CEO J. Frank Harrison III. (wlky.com)