PLANO, Texas (AP) — Dr Pepper Snapple Group reported a decline in fourth-quarter sales volume as the company struggles to get Americans to drink more of its soda.
The maker of 7Up, Sunkist, A&W root beer and Hawaiian Punch nevertheless saw its core income from operations improve, however, in part because of higher prices. It also forecast earnings per share for 2014 above Wall Street expectations, and its stock rose nearly 3 percent to $50 in premarket trading.
For the period, sales volume for packaged beverages fell 2 percent for both carbonated drinks and non-carbonated drinks and the company noted that the soda category "continued to face significant headwinds."
Dr Pepper, along with its bigger rivals Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, is trying to figure out ways to stop the years-long decline in U.S. soda consumption. Among the strategies are offering lower-calorie sodas that taste better than traditional diet sodas. Dr Pepper, for instance, has rolled out 10-calorie versions of some its sodas.
Given the growing number of drink options, however, Dr Pepper has struggled to get retailers to give its product extensions shelf space.