This timeline shows the market share of leading carbonated soft drink companies in the United States from 2004 to 2014. Throughout this entire period, the Coca-Cola Company was the leading soft drink company. In 2011, Coca-Cola's soft drink market share amounted to 41.9 percent.
Carbonated soft drinks
Carbonated soft drinks belong to the non-alcoholic beverage industry. Depending on the region, they are also well-known as soda, pop, or carbonated beverages, and cover drinks containing water, sugar or a type of artificial sweetener, and a flavoring agent. Those fizzy drinks are mostly available in regular and diet varieties. A broader definition of soft drinks may additionally include non-alcoholic ready-to-drink beverages such as juice, bottled water, functional drinks (sports and energy drinks), and coffee and tea (hot and iced).
Multinational companies facing the high competition in the soft drink market comprise The Coca-Cola Corporation, Pepsi-Co. Inc. and Dr Pepper Snapple. In this segment, The Coca-Cola Corporation and PepsiCo have been long-term competitors for ages. PepsiCo always has to face the so-called ’Pepsi challenge’ as rivaling with Coca-Cola. The ‘Pepsi challenge’ originally was set up as a taste experiment. Consumers were invited to degust beverages out of two blank cups – one filled with Pepsi Cola and one containing Coca-Cola. Consumers were then asked to evaluate the taste of these two drinks and to make a choice which one of them they would prefer. The blind test let most Americans surprisingly learn that they would prefer Pepsi Cola over Coca-Cola, only guided by taste.