Pseudovariety in Soft Drinks

Friday, August 20th, 2010


Three firms own 89% of your sugar water.

(Hmmm, this needs a bit of design IMHO. I might have a chop at it)

Research and visualisation by Dr Phil Howard of Michigan State University. He’s done some other, great visual explorations of key industries including organic food and seeds.

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Show Comments ( )

  • Andy Cotgreave

    I’d be interested to see how you can improve this. Sure, it’s pretty, but for each major company, the majority of its area is white space. For Coca Cola, the huge white circle tells me that its market share is huge, but I can’t glean anything about the individual drinks because each blob is so flippin’ small.

  • Dugolo

    What tool do you suppose he used to make this?

  • Daniel Snyder

    Could you, perhaps, organize it further by distributor? By price? By volume of bottle? I think that there’s area for exploration.

  • Nathanael

    True Andy. Brand diversification in action, these brands eat up page space much as they fill the consumer’s mind.
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  • izikavazo

    Yay, Jones is still independent.
    I’m surprised how many more flavors Gatorade has than Powerade.

  • imajoebob

    The chart is really horrible. It’s pretty unreadable – at least in the resolutions I can find, and all the data is doubled. Both colored bubbles AND a large white circle for each manufacturer. I know this makes the ratios equal, but only for the corporations, not the brands.

    My other complaint may be related to the scope of the study. I don’t believe it’s extensible very far beyond the Lansing market. The primary reason is the complete absence of the Cott Corporation. Cott is the largest bottler of private label (i.e. store brand) soft drinks in the US (and Canada, Mexico, and the UK). They’re probably the suppliers to Meijer and Walmart/Sam’s, which are listed separately. Cott is said to offer up to a dozen different recipes of each flavor they make, so Meijer’s cola won’t taste identical to Krogers or Safeway. Some multi-region chains actually may have different formulas for different regional tastes. Needless to say, Cott is bigger than both Faygo and National. This is also a real hodgepodge of products. Does Starbucks really compete with Malta and Nestle Quik and Minute Maid orange juice?

    The bubbles are an interesting style choice, but these aren’t all fizzy drinks. If my Sunny D has bubbles i’m spitting it out. This is a case of the style getting in the way of delivering the message.

  • Simon | Profit Duck

    Absolutely beautiful representation. Its amazing how much the top few drink companies own.

  • Michael Lemme

    Zoomable version:
    Use your mouse scroll wheel to zoom in and out.

  • Steve

    @dugolo : OmniGraffle v 5.2.3

  • Ezmelts

    Another gorgeous chart!
    and Jarritos! I thought it was owned by one of the big names, funny to see they ONLY make Jarritos.

  • Gloria Barrientos

    Coca Cola>Inca Kola>”Golden Kola” is wrong.. “golden kola” is like a tagline of Inca Kola, it is NOT another product.

  • bee

    Looks like a lot of choice to me … great visualization

  • skids

    If I were to add one data point, it would be primary type of sweetener used.

    Oh, and they are missing Pepsi One.

  • Michael

    Amazing. What amazes me most is how few of these brands exist in the UK: I’ve not heard of most of them. The US really is consumer hell!

  • Dimka

    this is very non-representative for the world and even for the USA.
    any real metropolitan city will have a lot more variety and other brands will play a bigger role.
    this chart is viewed by people from around the world yet it samples just one midwest city.
    world is a lot bigger than that