Coca-Cola Corporation increased its overall US market share by 0.6% in 2002 – lifting its slice of the US carbonated drinks market to 44.3% and moving out of a two-year period of decline.

But, according to US sector magazine Beverage Digest, flagship brand Coke Classic failed to share in this happy event, its volume slipping 2% during the year. However, Coke will have derived some solace from the fact that arch-rival Pepsi-Cola fared even worse, shedding 4%.

On the credit side, the continuing growth of Diet Coke and the successful launch of Vanilla Cole contributed toward the beverage behemoth’s aggregated gain.

Coca-Cola recently announced it is refocusing on the carbonated drinks sector to reverse its declining growth as Americans turn to other delights such as bottled water (where Coke’s Dasani brand is prominent) and juices.

Commented Beverage Digest publisher John Sicher: “What's driving growth is innovation and Coke did a good job last year.” But neither cola-vendor can afford to rest on its laurels, he warned, and growth in the sector is unlikely to be maintained unless product innovations keep flowing.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff