Earlier today I was in Kroger, looking for some soda to buy. The last few times I was in the store, they had no Pepsi Next, which has lately been my drink of choice. Today was no different. When I finally settled on Cherry Coke Zero, I went to pay for it and it was not $3 for a 12-pack as I had hoped (3 for $9 deal). Instead, it was $4.99. I was told I had to buy 3. Thought that was only true of BOGO offers. I decided to forgo it and make a trip to Publix across the street.
Publix always has a better selection than either Walmart or Kroger, as well as comparable prices in the category. I say the selection is better because the last couple times I was in Publix, they introduced more ten calories drinks from Dr. Pepper/Snapple in 2-liter bottles: RC 10, Canada Dry 10, etc. The interesting thing is, while I was in Kroger, I noticed that Dr. Pepper 10 was on closeout. I honestly thought the drink was doing pretty well. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to this data anymore, as I did while at Nielsen. Sometimes stores don’t feel it fits their consumer’s profile. Or they simply want to dedicate more shelf space to other products (extra rows of regular Pepsi, etc.). As I said, Kroger hasn’t carried Pepsi Next for some time now and I haven’t seen it in Walmart recently either.
Will all these drinks wind up like Coca-Cola’s C2? Possibly, but Pepsi sure is making a push with Pepsi Next. Beyonce is even a spokesperson. I haven’t seen as many ads for Dr. Pepper 10 lately, but they had a much more clear marketing message than Pepsi Next. DP10 was directed towards men who don’t necessarily despise the TASTE of diet drinks. Rather, they don’t like the connotations surrounding drinking a diet drink, if they truly exist. I for one don’t like the taste of a diet drink, but if I am going to drink soda, I don’t want all the calories of a regular. I think the 10 line does taste better, so I really hope it survives. But it’s going to take trial on the part of the consumer. And if stores don’t carry it, well, we know where that will lead.