AdAge is reporting (via the subscriber-only Beverage Digest) that “a historic shift for the beverage industry” has occurred: Diet Coke is now outselling longtime second-place holder Pepsi. Last year, Coca-Cola's junior product sold 9.9 percent of all sodas in the United States, just ahead of Pepsi's 9.5 percent share; both paled to regular Coke's mighty 17 percent (!) share.
Of course, AdAge being AdAge, most of its story focuses on the advertising angle of the story, but it is a fascinating study in Pepi's missteps. Given I've always drank orange-flavored sodas, I'm a slave to both companies, so I don't care either way. I will say, however, that Diet Coke's flavor is the lesser of the three, so now that it's the second-best-selling cola in the country reminds me of an old MAD comic that had a fat guy saying, “I'll order that seventh cheeseburger without cheese; I'm on a diet.”
Of course, the best article on the Cola Wars is from the late, great Rotten.com Library,