Product Mix: Key to Winning the Cola War
Pepsi and Coca-Cola have stood the test of time through one of the strongest competition rivalries ever seen in the business world. Each time that one of these beverage giants makes an innovative move to conquer a new or existing beverage market, the other is quick to respond with even better innovations or products. Through the years, each of these companies have heralded fabulous discoveries and absolute flops as they continued their endless search for the right mix of products that might someday give them the largest market share in an ever-growing and ever-needed market. The results so far have been increased competitiveness and long product lines for both companies. In this essay, I will discuss how both of these companies still can alter their product mix by developing new products; specifically in the sports drink line. I will also discuss how these companies can also produce positive growth and earnings by using innovative target marketing with their product mix.
Sports drinks such as Gatorade and PowerAde are not new to beverage lines, with Gatorade having been on American shelves for nearly 40 years and PowerAde nearly 15 years.1 They are however relatively new acquisitions to the long-standing soda giants who now own them. The premise for both drinks is to replenish the spent minerals, vitamins, and energy sources from tired athletes, and to do so with something better tasting than water alone.2 At nearly ever sports event you see banners and athletes that advertise one of these sports drinks. Each of these drinks continues to do battle in the market to gain market share while their parent companies focus on their main product and develop cola-war strategies. However to many market strategists, the sports drink market is seen as the next big battlefield that could increase one companies overall market share. The source of this new battle lies with a 35 year-old and now very popular diet with...
References: 1Brad Cook, "Gatorade Endures," Brandchannel.com, 6 May 2002,
2 Brad Cook, "Gatorade Endures," Brandchannel.com, 6 May 2002,
3Diane Brady, "A Thousand and One Noshes: How Pepsi Deftly Adapts Products to Changing Consumer Tastes," Businessweek [New York] 14 June 2004, Pg. 54
4Dean Foust, "Things Go Better With
Juice; Coke 's New CEO Will Have to Move Quickly to Catch Up in Non-Carbonated Drinks," Businessweek [New York] 17 May 2004
5Statenews.com, "Quench Your Thirst?", 2004, < http://www.statenews.com/article.phtml?pk=12427>
6Charlie Cook, "Pride-Ferrell Marketing, Branding and Packaging PowerPoint presentation", Houston Mifflin Company, 12 Nov. 2004,
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