Soda sales fall flat

NEW YORK (NBC News) – Coca-Cola is struggling to sell more soda in the U.S., and it can’t seem to catch a break.

The world’s largest beverage maker on Tuesday blamed a confluence of factors including unusually bad weather for its disappointing second-quarter results. It cited cold, wet conditions at home and flooding in parts of Europe for weak volume growth globally. Profit declined 4 percent.

The temporary setbacks clouded the underlying challenge the company faces in North America and other developed markets, where soda consumption has been declining for years amid criticism that sugary drinks fuel obesity rates.

In the latest quarter, for example, Coca-Cola said soda volume in North America fell 4 percent. But the figure has declined in 20 of the 26 quarters since the start of 2007, including a 2 percent slide a year ago.

It was flat in four quarters and rose by just 1 percent in the other two quarters.

Still, executives expressed confidence they’d be able to return to growth with greater investments in marketing, new packaging and other tactics.

 

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