- Nobody seems to be talking about diet soda brands anymore, but consumers still love discussing regular soft drink brands, according to a report from Engagement Labs.
- Diet Pepsi, Coca-Cola Zero and Diet Dr Pepper were among the report's underperformers, while conversations surrounding Coca-Cola, Sprite and Pepsi ran high.
- Those discussions occur over both social media and face to face, in person, tallied by the company’s new TotalSocial tool, which monitors consumers’ conversations both online and offline.
The report identified two main challenges diet soda brands face: concerns about sugar and artificial sweeteners, and "balancing consumer interest in natural ingredients with backlash to formulation changes."
PepsiCo's Diet Pepsi-aspartame snafu illustrates both of these obstacles to growth. The brand went through a reformulation to meet demands for better-for-you sweeteners, but it's not always easy to mimic the flavor, texture and appearance of a product while manufacturers adjust ingredients.
Still, this report shows that not only are consumers no longer buying as much diet soda, they are also not even discussing diet soda brands. That could be the sign of a permanent decline for the beverage, rather than just one rough period.