New initiatives for Pepsi

Despite the pounding Pepsi brand has been suffering at the hands of private label competitors, the new president and chief executive officer of Pepsi-Cola Canada Beverages claims the company's share of the overall soft drink market 'has remained stable for the...

Despite the pounding Pepsi brand has been suffering at the hands of private label competitors, the new president and chief executive officer of Pepsi-Cola Canada Beverages claims the company’s share of the overall soft drink market ‘has remained stable for the last 14 months.’

Ron McEachern, who assumed his new duties Nov. 29, declines to comment specifically on the sales performance of Pepsi brand.

But he says Pepsi-Cola’s corporate share of the carbonated soft drink market has held steady at about 33%.

Pepsi-Cola’s brand stable includes Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, 7UP, Mountain Dew and Dr. Pepper.

McEachern, a nine-year Pepsi employee, succeeds Wayne Mailloux, who has headed the cola giant since 1989.

Mailloux has been promoted to president of Pepsi-Cola European Beverage.

McEachern, who has a master of business administration degree from York University in Toronto, says Pepsi-Cola will introduce a number of new marketing initiatives in the coming year to maintain its position in the market.

On the price front, McEachern says Pepsi-Cola will offer ‘lower prices more often.’

He admits that by selling their private label brands about 25% lower than Pepsi-Cola’s, Canadian supermarkets have forced his company, and its single largest competitor, Coca-Cola, to reduce their prices as well.

But he refuses to say whether Pepsi-Cola will, in fact, match the price points of supermarket brands, the vast majority of which are produced by Cott Beverages.

Other Pepsi-Cola marketing initiatives in 1994 will include:

- A new brand, Pepsi Max, that will be sweetened by a combination of artificial sweetener and sugar and have half the calories of regular Pepsi.

- Big Slam, a one-litre single-serve bottle with an oversized opening.

- Cube-shaped packaging for 24-packs of cans.

During the coming year, Pepsi-Cola will also roll out a new line of lemonades and juices under a joint agreement with Ocean Spray.

As well, it will introduce line extensions to its Lipton ice tea brand.