Convenience stores, super markets, etc important part of the carbonated soft drink industry retail channel
The carbonated soft drink industry has grown manifold since soft drinks were first invented. There are several manufacturers who offer a range of brands to the liking of the customers. Reaching out to maximum number of customers is what each one is looking out to do. From concentrate producers to customers there are different members who form a part of the chain. The last step before the drink reaches the customers is the retailers. When we go out to buy our stock for the month we would go to the retail outlets and stores like Wal-Mart or any convenience store that we prefer. Most of these stores would have most brands with them.
In the US soft drinks industry the three main participants are concentrate producers or manufacturers, bottlers and retailers. Generally the regular soft drink and diet drinks have a subtle difference in the actors handling them. The regular soft drink’s basic flavors are manufactured by the carbonate producers. Then they provide these flavors to the bottlers who add sweeteners to the carbonated water. The bottlers then package it into bottles and cans and then send it to retailers like supermarkets, convenience stores, etc.
The bottlers are normally assigned their territories. They would normally have the rights to distribute and market the product under the brand name of the concentrate. There are about 900 brands registered in the US market. Among the most successful are Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Dr Pepper/7 Up, etc. bottlers like Coca-Cola Company, Pepsi Bottling group, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Cadbury Beverages, etc take care of their brands in their territories. There may be different bottlers for different countries. For e.g. the Orange Crush brand is distributed by Pepsi Bottling Group in US while Cadbury Beverages takes care of the Canadian market.
In case of diet soft drinks it’s mostly the carbonate producers who manufacture the basic flavor and add artificial sweetener to it. It is then handed over to the bottlers who add carbonated water to make the carbonated soft drink and package it into bottles and cans for further distribution. The retailers like supermarkets are the major players in the distribution of the products. Supermarkets cover about 40 percent of carbonated soft drink industry sales. Similarly distribution is also done through convenience stores and small retail outlets. Among other important parts of the chain are the vending machines and fountain services at location like schools, universities, malls and other public places. If you visit Wal-Mart stores you can find a huge range of carbonated soft drinks in different quantities. Many fast food chains in the US have most brands of soft drinks. During hot seasons you may even have an extra refill of some brands. Chains like Taco Bell often have self service bars for soft drinks. Burger King Restaurants and McDonalds are also now offering similar options. Convenience stores like 7-Eleven also sell soft drinks and that too at reasonable prices.
The carbonated soft drink industry retail channel is simple and aims at maximizing profits to each player of the chain. Their ultimate aim of course is to reach out to maximum customers and provide them flavors they prefer and love.
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