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ATLANTA -- The Coca-Cola Co. will announce the launch of a 12.5-ounce, 89-cent bottle this week and will cut the price of its 7.5-ounce mini Coke cans to $2.99, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The new bottle joins the 16-ounce, 99-cent bottles that were introduced last year as an alternative to the 20-ounce bottle.
Although the traditional range of bottle sizes includes 20-ounce bottles at convenience stores and two-liter bottles and cases of 12-ounce cans for grocery stores, Coke has brought its business strategy for Mexico, where Coke products are offered in 30 packages, to the U.S. as consumers cut their spending in response to the recession.
"In the U.S.A., we're really just at the beginning,'' said Sandy Douglas, president of Coca-Cola North America.
The additional options for smaller, cheaper beverages may draw in more consumers looking to save a few cents, although they will pay more per ounce. PepsiCo has begun following a similar strategy, recently launching 16-ounce and 1.5-liter bottles, but Coke has had better results, according to the report. During the first half of 2011, Coke's share of the U.S. soda market rose 1.1 percentage points to 34.3 percent while PepsiCo's fell 0.2 percentage points to 32.8 percent, according to data from Beverage Digest.
To fine-tune the specifics of its packaging options, Coke has reportedly identified more than 30 drinking occasions and visualizes them in terms of "Occasion, Brand, Price, Pack, Channel" or OBPPC.
Even as the company offers cheaper options, prices on larger bottles for consumers who have the extra money for them may increase. It expects retailers to increase prices on 16- and 20-ounce bottles to around $1.19 and $1.69 and single-liter bottles to around $1.99, according to the WSJ.