Coca Cola Beats Pepsi As The Favorite Cannabis Consumer Soda Brand

Coca Cola takes first place over Pepsi and Dr. Pepper as the most preferred soda brand among cannabis consumers.

In a study conducted by Consumer Research Around Cannabis and Green Market Report for the Cannabis Freakonomics series, over the last 7 days and throughout 25 Markets with a sample size of 27,503 responses, over 32% of cannabis consumers chose Coca Cola over any other brand. Pepsi came in at 23.8%, Dr. Pepper held 13%, Mountain was the favorite at 12% and Sprite had 11%.

“Coca-Cola is perhaps the most well-known brand in the world and they have tremendous distribution.  Of course regional tastes, ethnicity and cannabis legality state by state are also factors to consider.  As beverage companies add cannabis consumer research to their arsenal for branding and marketing, Coke may not always be #1.  Its not too different from what we saw with McDonald’s and fast food,” said VP of Sales for Consumer Research Around Cannabis Jeff Stein.

“Coke is the clear winner over Pepsi with cannabis consumers. That may be because it is the soda sold at McDonald’s, which we found out last week is their overwhelming choice for fast food,” said Green Market Report CEO Debra Borchardt. “The choice of Red Bull over diet drinks may be because of the company’s sport sponsorships. Red Bull backs athletes from sports like BMX racing, snowboarding, surfing and skateboarding. Many of these sports are less formal than traditional sports and some of the athletes are open about their cannabis consumption.”

This could all be good news for struggling soda revenues as the build their non-soda brands and bring healthier beverages to people around the globe.

Throughout the press these days, soda brands such as the ones cannabis consumers surveyed were asked to stake their preference in continue to try and move toward being understood as companies that include more than just soda, which is largely agreed to be a far less healthy option for beverage consumption compared to water or organic juices.

Soda sales continue to fall throughout the United States, and Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) is actively pursuing a perception that indeed positions them as more than just a soft drink company. Coke now wants to be known as a “total beverage company”. They now offer non-soda brands that include Odwalla juice, Smartwater and Honest Tea, however most of their revenue still comes from soda.

Pepsi (PEP, +0.14%) just claimed that their North American business took a hit and lost market share in its most recent quarter because the company began to focus marketing efforts away from their key soda brands of Pepsi and Mountain Dew and moved them toward the healthier option of its LIFEWTR. This proved to be a decision that hurt initially.

These changes will continue to hurt in the beginning as the market calibrates. But, water should also not cost more than soda. These brands will have to push forward as people require something healthier and accept that it will take time to adjust.

“Consumers are looking for products that are more natural,” explained the new Coca Cola CEO, James Quincey, “At times with less sugar. Sometimes with more benefits.”

Coke hopes to reduce sugar in more than 500 of its drink by the end of 2017. “We’ve begun our journey toward that goal,” Quincey said.

In the meantime, cannabis consumers have reviewed the available soft drink brands and Coca Cola wins.

Cynthia Salarizadeh

Cynthia SalarizadehCynthia Salarizadeh

CEO and Founder of the Salar Media Group, a PR firm focused on enhancing the image of cannabis, and the Co-Founder & CSO of Green Market Report. Cynthia is committed to improving the perception of cannabis for better market conditions. She holds a degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a certificate in journalism from Georgetown.


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