We all love soda, especially on a hot day. What is more refreshing than opening a can of soda to cool down? Soda has been a part of our lives for generations; whether we are drinking it or seeing our favorite brands on the TV, cinema or even video games, soda has become a part of who we are. However, with so many brands and different types of soda, you may be asking which is the best? Well, everyone has their personal favorite but we can tell you which brand is the most popular. Here are the Top 10 Brands Of Soda In The US.
Sometimes a soft drink flavor comes about because of a gap in the market, or because of extensive market research by the soft drink company. There is, however, another reason why a soda drink may be released and that is because the company can’t make the original soda. During the second world war, Coca-Cola had difficulties importing their Coca-Cola syrup to Europe, due to a trade embargo with Nazi Germany. Because of this, the head of Coca-Cola Germany decided to create a new drink for the European market. Using what he described as ‘the leftovers of leftovers’ for ingredients, Coca-Cola used all their soda making know-how and imagination, hence the name Fanta which comes from the German Fantasie meaning imagination or fantasy, to create the next big flavor in soda. The drink became a success but once the war was over and Coca-Cola had reunited all of its European branches, Fanta was discontinued. However, due to Pepsi releasing several drinks in the 1950s. Coca-Cola decided to rebrand and relaunch Fanta. Now Fanta is one of the most popular sodas in the world with a variety of flavors.
9. Diet Dr Pepper
We now come to the first of many diet versions of sodas on our list of the most popular soda brands in the US. During the 1960s people started to think that their beloved soda may not be the healthiest option to drink. So, soda companies started to come out with sugar-free and diet variations of their brands. While Dr Pepper had been a popular soda for decades before, it was time to launch a diet version for a new world. Unfortunately, the Diet Dr Pepper didn’t go down with customers too well when it was launched, this probably had more to do with the naming and advertising of the product than anything else. Wanting to stick with a ‘doctor’ theme, Dr Pepper released Dietetic Dr Pepper which was a bit of a misstep as many people thought it was a drink aimed at people with diabetes. Taking the drink back to the drawing board, they renamed it Sugar-Free Dr Pepper, which also didn’t do so well so they eventually rebranded the whole drink as Diet Dr Pepper and the rest is history. Marketing Diet Dr Pepper as tasting more like the original soda drink than most diet brands do seems to have helped Diet Dr Pepper become one of the most popular brands in the world.
8. Diet Mountain Dew
Mountain Dew has certainly found it’s target audience in recent years. Much like its full sugared counterpart Mountain Dew, Diet Mountain Dew is aimed at the same market. The young gamers and extreme sports enthusiasts love to pound back a Mountain Dew or two so why wouldn’t they want a diet version as well? As you will see by this list of popular sodas, the Dew fans do want a diet version and it has become one of the most popular diet versions on the market. First being known as Sugar-Free Mountain Dew in the mid-1980s, a name changed was decided and Diet Mountain Dew hit the world and to great success. Mountain Dew is experts at bringing out new flavors and adding to their range, but apart from the original Mountain Dew, Diet Mountain Dew is one of their most beloved drinks. While Coca-Cola may be a bigger brand than Mountain Dew, they can’t compete with the citrus, extreme side of life as Mountain Dew has done. Unless of course, you would all rather be drinking Mellow yellow? A soda that Coca-Cola tried, and failed, to break Mountain Dew with. But Dew fans are loyal and will stick with this brand no matter what.
7. Diet Pepsi
Another famous diet brand of sodas to hit the top ten popular sodas in the US is Diet Pepsi. Released back in the early 1960s, which incidentally was a good two decades before Coca-Cola released their infamous Diet Coke. Pepsi was one of the first soda companies to really tap into the ‘low sugar’ market and appeal to people’s new ideas about having less sugar and caffeine in their diets. Originally tested on the US market as Patio Diet Cola, Diet Pepsi become one of the first diet sodas to be marketed, not only across the country but throughout the world and it very quickly became a lot of people’s favorite diet soda. Over the years Diet Pepsi has added many flavors and variations to its diet range such as Pepsi Light, Pepsi ONE and Pepsi Max but it’s the original Diet Pepsi that is still proving to be the most popular. While this diet soda has proved to be one of the most popular in the country, it has to settle for the number two spot as another diet soda comes higher on our list.
Another Coca-Cola company product here and another trip into war-torn Germany. After the Second World War ended Coca-Cola took their new drink, Fanta, to test it on the world. Once they had rebranded it and were happy with their drink, Fanta became a popular alternative to Coke in the 1950s. With so much success, Coca-Cola, and in particular their German branch, wanted a new flavor of Fanta to compete with the likes of 7UP. Using the lemon and lime flavoring, Sprite was born and released into the world in the early 1960s. First targeted as an alcohol mixer, Sprit soon found its audience with the younger generation and has never looked back. Often voted as one of the world’s favorite sodas, Sprit has introduced a lot of variations over the years to increase its brand and popularity. Tropical fruit, cranberry, and even cucumber have all been flavors of Sprit. It is also worth noting that Sprite Zero was released in the 1970s which is a whopping 30 years before Coca-Cola introduced the popular Coke Zero range. Maybe Coca-Cola was testing the market with Sprit before using their beloved Coke range. Now that is being cautious.
5. Dr. Pepper
Out of all the sodas on the market, Dr Pepper is probably one of the most mysterious drinks out there. Because of its very distinct flavor, Dr Pepper has an army of loyal fans. However, for anyone that has never tried this soda drink, it is almost impossible to describe. ‘It’s kind of like coke, but it’s not. It’s kind of fruity but it’s not.’ It’s difficultness to describe has actually been one of Dr peppers best advertising tools as it plays on the fact that people are unsure about its taste. ‘What’s the worst that can happen.’ Was a hugely successful campaign across the pond in which Dr Pepper invited everyone to try it as you’ll probably end up loving it, which most people do. Much like it’s ingredients, which is supposed to contain 23 ingredients but no one knows what they are, the name Dr Pepper is a bit of a mystery as well. There are many theories and ideas about where the name comes from but no one is sure. Some theories suggest that it was actually named after a real Doctor Pepper while another theory is that the company just used the term Dr as they wanted to give the impression that their drink was healthy and aids in things like digestion. Whatever the actual origin of the name is or their recipe, Dr Pepper continues to be one of the most popular sodas in the world and it has been doing so for over a hundred years and in fact beat Coca-Cola to the market by a whole year.
4. Mountain Dew
It’s fair to say that Mountain Dew has had one of the more recent successful advertising campaigns in recent times. While Mountain Dew as a drink and formula may have been around since the 1940s, the fact that this citrus-flavored soda drink marketed itself with the gaming and extreme sports industry was a stroke of marketing genius. Starting out as a mixer for whiskey, Tennessee bottlers Barney and Ally Hartman developed the drink further after people started to drink it without alcohol. Using the term ‘Mountain Dew,’ which meant Moonshine or homemade whiskey, they trademarked the name and prepared to change the face of the soda industry. After a fairly slow start, Mountain Dew was obtained by PepsiCo in the early 1960s and it very quickly became the soda drink for a new generation. It must be noted that Mountain Dew went to Coca-Cola before Pepsi as they wanted the input of a major soda player, however, Coca-Cole declined to get involved. A decision we sure they now regret. Over the years Moutain Dew has carved out a niche like no other soft drink company. Not only have they found their perfect target audience but Mountain Dew has proven to be the masters of advertising in the modern age. With several promotions such as there DEWmocracy 1 and 2, their Game Fuel line and their back by popular DEWmand promotion, Mountain Dew knows how to get their fans involved with their products and how to create a real buzz. Plus tying in with popular movies, video games and of course, Taco Bell only strengthens their brand. It is no surprise that Mountain Dew is the best selling soda brand in the US, outside of the ‘cola wars’ obviously.
In the world of soda, there is an ever ongoing battle for the king, not just of coke, but the king of all sodas. Pepsi has been trying to take the crown from Coca-Cola for generations but more often than not, they just fall short. Starting out in North Carolina in the late 1890s, Pepsi was actually first branded under the name Brad’s Drink, named after the creator Caleb Bradham who developed it and sold it in his drugstore. He later renamed it Pepsi-Cola from the Greek word for digestion. Yes, another soda company that went for the healthy digestion market. While Pepsi-Cola started to do well across the country, the effects of the First World War, and in particular the sugar rations, effected Pepsi-Cola to the point of bankruptcy. Being bought out by candy manufacturers Loft.Inc. Pepsi had a renewed vigor and one clear goal; to replace Coca-Cola in, not only the candy companies stores but stores nationwide. As with Mountain Dew, Coca-Cola was actually offered the chance to buy out Pepsi-Cola on several occasions and each time they refused. After some serious advertizing campaigns and slogans such as, ‘Pepsi hits the spot,’ plus shortening its name and dropping the Cola, Pepsi found itself back in the race. The 1980s and ’90s were big decades for Pepsi as they tried to take the cola crown from Coca-Cola. With several celebrities and musicians joining their ad campaigns plus plenty of product placement in popular films like Back to the Future, Home Alone and Wayne’s World, Pepsi had found it’s home among the younger generation. However, even after all these years, it hasn’t managed to topple Coca-Cola. Still, many people love Pepsi and some even prefer it to Coca-Cola, which is why Pepsi shouldn’t feel too bad for always being the bridesmaid and never the bride.
2. Diet Coke
The second most popular soda drink in the US and the most popular diet version in the country is Diet Coke. It may be odd for many people to think this but Diet Coke is actually one of the youngest drinks on the market. In the early days of sodas, a lot of the big named brands quickly understood that the world around them was changing. The baby boomers of the 1960s wanted a healthier soda to drink. While the likes of Pepsi, Dr Pepper, and RC cola all quickly churned out a diet version of their popular drinks, Coca-Cola didn’t want to. In fact, they didn’t want to use their brand Coca-Cola on any drink that wasn’t their flagship soda. However, given the social pressure of the people wanting a new low sugar drink, Coca-Cola released Tab. For all of those out there that don’t know what Tab is, it’s essential a diet cola which became the stuff of legends when Tab released their clear version. However, at the beginning of the 1980s, Coca-Cola decided to put their trademarked name on a diet soda, the first time the company had put their name on any other drink since the release of the very first Coca-Cola the previous century. Thus Diet Coke was born and so popular did it become that it blew Tab pretty much out of the market within its first year. Diet Coke quickly found itself branded to the slightly older market and found a niche with women and moms. Over the years, however, Diet Coke is pretty much drunk by all demographics as it continues to be the benchmark for all diet sodas.
Was there any doubt in your mind what the most popular soda drink in the US was? We didn’t think so. Still outselling all brands that come up against it, Coca-Cola is still the most popular and most bought soda drink in the country. In fact, a recent survey suggests that Coca-Cola has a 17 percent market share, which is higher than Pepsi and Mountain Dew combined. There is no doubt that a big part of Coca-Cola’s success comes from the fact that they are one of the most prolific companies in the world when it comes to advertising. Not only have they run many successful commercials but they also sponsor pretty much everything. From sporting events such as European soccer leagues, the Soccer World Cup, NASCAR, the Olympics and many many more. They also use their brand to sponsor and use product placement in various TV shows and movies. Not too subtly either, we all know what Simon Cowell Drinks on American Idol! It also should be noted that Coca-Cola was the first soda to leave the planet as it was drunk by members of the Challenger space shuttle. Needless to say that the brand and logo are one of the most recognizable in the world as well as their great-tasting cola. No wonder Coca-Cola has been king of the sodas for so many years.