View Full Version : The death of Mad River?

01-02-2003, 09:36 PM
Coke is killing Mad River. They went out and scooped it up to compete with Pepsi's Sobe, but they aren't doing a damn thing with it. It's not in most of the chains here, and rarely do I see it in any c-stores. They've even resorted to putting $1 off of 1 coupons on the bottles.

Now, they are going to switch the package from glass to plastic. This will definately enable them to put it in schools and the like, where they don't want glass or carbonated soft drinks.

But who will buy it if they don't know what it is?

01-02-2003, 10:07 PM
The stuff seems to sit around alot here. No big seller thats for sure. Still since Pepsi picked up SoBe it has really slowed down around here. These big guys sure do know how to kill good small brands don't they?

01-02-2003, 10:09 PM
I dont think they ever intended to do anything with it. Instead, it appeared to be more of a move to buy out a regional competitor...and one that you would think was too small to even be on Coke's radar. As you said, no one really knows what Mad River is, so it wasn't exactly a brand that is an extremely valuable addition to Coke's portfolio of brands. At least Marc Johnson got a sweatheart deal.

01-03-2003, 01:00 AM
- Quaker kills Snapple
- Pepsi kills SoBe
- Coke kills Mad River & Planet Java

What are the projections for:
- Gatorade under Pepsi?
- Odwalla under Coke?
- Snapple under Cadbury?

My Projections are:
- Gatorade stagnates, door opens for competitor to begin to take significant share for first time. Best chance for Gatorade was given to Pepsi by the FTC when they prevented Pepsi from allowing their DSD system to handle the product. By the way, Monarch made a very big mistake buying All Sport. I hope they got it CHEAP.
- Odwalla grows. Similar to Gatorade, Odwalla is "protected" from CCE damage simply because CCE can't distribute refrigerated product.
- Snapple stagnates. Cadbury is intentionally leaving Snapple alone to avoid "Quakerizing" it. One big problem, Weinstein is gone. Mike was the creative and motivational force behind Snapple. They have been drifting ever since he left.

01-03-2003, 01:37 AM
By significantly underpricing Gatorade, Coke was able to take away market share from Gatorade. I don't see the trend continuing, though. People have switched right back. Gatorade's line is simply too deep for a 3/4/5/6 flavor line like Coke has. 12oz PET 6pk was a great move for Coke, we racked up a ton of sales with that package. Even Gatorade jumped on that bandwagon.

I see Odwalla benefitting from the Coke purchase, also. It gets Coke into the high-end segment, but it's run as a seperate business due to the nature of the product. Odwalla will also benefit from the reach of Coke as well as their money. And CCE can't mess with the product.

In this area, the DPSU bottlers are pretty strong. They run almost the full line of DPSU products, with only one lone indie Pepsi bottler holding onto 7UP. Coke and Pepsi have a lock on Dr Pepper franchises. 4th tiers sell Hires, Crush, Vernors. They heavily promote Snapple during the summer, lots of $9/$10/$11 case sales.

However, they don't seem to be doing too hot with their new flavor introductions. I don't see Snapple growing any more than they've already done under DPSU.

01-03-2003, 05:32 PM
Only one place on my route that has Mad River and Planet Java is the hospital! I think it's just too expensive that the other stores don't want to buy any of it because no one else buys it. No wonder!! it's like a $1.95 for one bottle of Mad River and $1.89 for a bottle of Planet Java!! If the stores bought them they would make very little profit off them.
I think that it'd be the best move Coke made by changing the Mad River over into plastic bottles who knows that might make it cheaper I'm sure it'll sell alot better. I don't know about Planet Java though.

Drink Coca-Cola!! smile.gif

01-03-2003, 09:24 PM
I saw that Muck River was in a open air deli case today with that dollar off sticker. The funny thing about that is that coke also dropped the price of it from 1.39 to 1.09 so with that dollar off you can buy it for only $.09! In my mind thats still a rip off for that crap! Most convience stores this year already told me that thats the first thing to be eliminated from the shelfs, but we'll see. It seem that each year that these store managers are getting more and more greedy with the signing bonuses and are forgetting about all the sales that could be made with a product that does very well instead of only looking at the up front money they are getting to carry this (since we're the third tier company this is really frustrating to deal with). I think no matter what coke does with it (plastic or glass) they've already have wrecked the name so the best thing that they should do is discountinue it and take the lost insead of spending more money on reinventing this crappy product!

01-04-2003, 03:36 AM
Well, Coke probably did buy it out because until they owned it, Mad River was an up and coming brand with alot of prestige due to its roots as a small company with small distributors. All Coke did was to essentially buy the buildings and turn them into a parking lot. But this was all in vain because I think that the small guys are going to keep coming up with stuff til someone who isn't so keen to sell out to the big guys gives them a run for the money!!! Personally, I think that Marc Johnson would cry if he saw his old brand in plastic, but then again he can afford to wipe his tears with cold hard cash!

Ron Swedelson
01-04-2003, 06:24 PM
Around here in the Bay Area, Coke is doing a really good job. Mad River was as dead as dead can be in this area. I remember always seeing Mad River on the shelves and asking the store owner if I could trade it out for my product. They were all too happy to allow that to happen. So now Mad River may not be flying off the shelfs, but at least you can find it in most stores now.

01-04-2003, 10:30 PM
I was talking to a Pepsi driver yesterday, and it looks like Sobe is going all plastic in the upcoming months as well.