Press Clip: What Pepsi Learns from Falling Behind

In an Atlantic Monthly article published today, a former marketing director for Coca-Cola suggests that PepsiCo executives should not overreact to their flagship brand’s recent tumble in the CSD category and instead continue its leadership in long term “better-for-you-products.”  With Diet Coke leapfrogging Pepsi Cola into second place among soft drinks, Hank Cardello notes that Pepsi’s current woes encompass several similarities to the decline of Miller High Life in the late 1970’s, when healthier lifestyles shifted consumer tastes toward “lite” beer. Cardello notes that “Only iconic brands with the market leadership and staying power of a Budweiser (or Coca-Cola) are in the best position to hang on in the face of the diet/light onslaught.”

Takeaway for Pepsi, according to Cardello? Things aren’t all bad as long as it doesn’t directly try to regain lost ground.