Archive for November, 2014

Wherefore Pop Art Thou?It’s time for another look at the kind of CSD you’ve been drinking lately when you toss down a sweet LRB. And the results may be scarier than than you expect. (But hang on — the charts are better than ever!)

Beverage Digest has brought out their yearly summary, leading off with the ominous words, “2013 Was A Challenging Year for U.S. Beverage Business.” Among other things, note that this capitalizes “Was” and even “A” but not “for” in that spooky opening line. That may give you some idea that there’s trouble ahead.

First some terminology you need to know when discussing this topic as though you know what you’re talking about:

  • BD = Beverage Digest
  • LRB = Liquid Refreshment Beverage
  • CSD = Carbonated Soft Drink

I think insiders pronounce those bud, lurb, and cussed, as in, “Bud says the cussed lurbs are losing market share again.”


US CSD sales were down a bit to a mere $76 billion in 2013. That’s a big number even if you’re a billionaire, so to give it some perspective: If a country only made, bought/sold and drank that much CSDs and did nothing else, it would have a GDP of about the 85th largest country in the world. Imagine everyone in the country of Jordan doing nothing but buying and selling that much Coke and Pepsi all year long. They’d be as much of an economic powerhouse as they are now, except the people would probably burp a lot more.

On the other hand, that much money is only enough to give everyone on the planet a $10 bill. Once. So maybe it’s not so much after all. But on the third hand, it’s still comfortably above the comparatively meager $56 billion that Americans spent on their pets last year.

Per Capita Consumption

Things start to get scary with this factoid: BD says that US consumption per person was down in 2013 but still equivalent to just shy of two drinks each day for every man, woman, and newborn baby in the country. This could help to explain many, many things. But we won’t try.

 Soft Drink Pie

If you’re the kind of person who can’t help but go to the Google or Bing image search page and type in oddball search terms like “soft drink pie chart”, then for the last few years you will have seen the 2010 pie chart near the top of the results list. So obviously it’s time to provide another pie chart, for 2013, to try to get more of these images in the top of those searches. Because … well, because of some important reason that has temporarily slipped our mind.

These pie charts may show up for other image searches like the slightly more reasonable “soft drink market share” although performance is sporadic for such reasonable search terms.


2103 approximate relative market share for the top 10 soft drinks (CSDs)


CSD Market Share Can

The pie chart can be somewhat disorienting to the excessively logical types, who are disturbed by a food-based diagram used to depict drinks. So in yet another hopeless effort to appease such folks, here’s another look at 2013 CSD market. If you were a person with super-typical tastes who…

  • bought soft drinks in exact proportion to the rest of the country
  • selected the top ten most common flavors
  • mixed those all together well
  • and then poured the mixture back into all the empty cans

.. then each of the combo-cans that you drank would be composed as shown in the following picture. Bottoms up!We are what we drinkAnd if you’re not feeling good after drinking all that, go see the doctor and mention you suspect it’s cussed lurbs.


Data presentation tip: strive for charts and graphs that (a) communicate with a zing, or at least (b) make people hungry or thirsty. If a 6-year old can quickly grasp the message, you’re on the right track. In this case, the little tyke will soon be asking for some sugary drinks. Anyway send in requests for new ways to depict these things so we can help people to just get it. Finally.



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