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The Chicago Tribune reports this morning that "sales of low calorie soft drinks in the United States have tumbled by almost 20 percent over the past five years, according to data from market research firm Euromonitor. This year, diet soda sales are on pace to drop another 5 percent. By 2019, they are projected to have fallen off by roughly a third since their peak in 2009.

"Some of the biggest brands are also some of the biggest losers in America. Diet Coke, which is the third best-selling soda in the United States, has seen its sales fall off by 15 percent in the past two years, and almost a third since 2005. Sales of Diet Pepsi, the second largest low calorie brand, meanwhile, have plummeted by roughly 35 percent."

The slowdown is said to not just be affecting US consumption, but global drinking habits as well.

The story suggests that the diet soda slowdown reflects a broader decrease in soda consumption, as well as a growing mistrust of artificial sweeteners.
KC's View:
It was just a week or so ago that we took note of a Wall Street Journal piece about Coke CEO Muhtar Kent, who has a specific approach to declining soda sales:

"Mr. Kent’s risky strategy: Sell more soda. The 62-year-old CEO says he has a number of plans - such as increased marketing spending and an overhaul of the company’s U.S. distribution network - that will help Coke return to high-single-digit earnings growth in 2016."

One has to wonder whether this is a trend that can be reversed, or if soft drink companies are better off not just being soft drink companies. This is highly anecdotal, of course, but almost everybody I know is cutting back on soda consumption.