retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Wall Street Journal reports that "a nearly decade-long decline in U.S. carbonated soft drink sales accelerated last year as more Americans turned their backs on artificially sweetened diet sodas, according to data published Monday … Overall soda volumes fell an estimated 3% in 2013, the ninth straight yearly contraction and more than double the 1.2% decline in 2012, according to Beverage Digest.

"The trade publication and data service also estimated U.S. retail sales of carbonated soft drinks shrank 1% to $76.3 billion, the first downturn in dollar terms in at least 15 years, indicating that the companies were unable last year to offset volume declines by raising prices."

And, the story says, there is no evidence that 2014 will show any improvement.
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