It's Official: Action Alerts PLUS beats the S&P 500 with Dividends Reinvested! Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link were up 16.72% in 2012. Were you? See what they are trading for 14-days FREEA few examples of major beverage producers tapping into growing markets include Coca-Cola’s Zico, which is a coconut water beverage, and Pepsi’s fruity Naked juices. There has also been a big push to develop zero calorie natural sweeteners, which represent 30% of the U.S. soda market. Pepsi launched Pepsi Next last year, while Coke is testing low-calorie versions of Sprite and Fanta. Dr Pepper Snapple is also looking to launch 10-calorie versions of 7-Up and Sunkist. Business Solutions: Investing Ideas Soda is loosing ground as a staple in the U.S. As consumers grow more health conscious, soda sales will continue to fall and take on the form of an occasional treat, rather than its old stand-by as a meal’s counterpart. The costs of developing new sweeteners must also be considered when looking at these companies. Pepsi’s chief executive has said that they are 90% closer to a breakthrough in sweeteners, but acknowledged the last 10% is the hardest.
Will these costly experiments pay off in the long run? Currently, Pepsi Next and Dr Pepper 10 have less than 1% market share. These investments could prove to be futile if current consumer trends are here to stay. The strategy you want to see these companies implement going forward is tapping into the faster growing beverage niches.Let's look into some of the big soda players, which have seen nice growth despite the trends: Interactive chart: 1- year returns for Coca-Cola Co (KO), PepsiCo Inc. (PEP), Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPS) and SodaStream International (SODA). The average 1-year return for these soda stocks is 17% . Written by KAPITALL'S Nick Sousa