Pseudo-variety and ownership of the soft drink industry
When you buy soft drinks and other beverages at the grocery store, most likely you're buying something that is part of a bigger brand. We know this. When you buy Powerade or Sprite, you're buying from the Coca-Cola brand. When you buy Gatorade or Mountain Dew, you're buying from Pepsi. Canada Dry and 7-Up come from the Dr. Pepper Snapple group. How far is this reach though?
Assistant Professor Philip Howard of Michigan State University maps the soft drink industry and its network of brands and beverages.
Three firms control 89% of US soft drink sales. This dominance is obscured from us by the appearance of numerous choices on retailer shelves. Steve Hannaford refers to this as "pseudovariety," or the illusion of diversity, concealing a lack of real choice. To visualize the extent of pseudovariety in this industry we developed a cluster diagram to represent the number of soft drink brands and varieties found in the refrigerator cases of 94 Michigan retailers, along with their ownership connections.
Circles are sized by proportional annual sales of the eight largest companies and colored by type of drink. White circles represent the sales of each company. Main drinks branch off the base and then branch out further for variations of that drink. Bubbly. See the full-sized version to see it all.
The Dr. Pepper Snapple Group has a 15% market share with 20 brands and 109 varieties; Pepsi is in second at 31.1% with 18 brands 163 varities, and Coca-Cola, the granddaddy of them all, leads the way at 42.8% with 25 brands and 139 varieties.
What company does your soda come from?
[via | Thanks, Barry]