Grocery stores in Philadelphia are revolutionizing the way Pepsi is being sold with the new “soda tax” that has now entered the sweet beverage market. An increase of tax on 12-packs and 2 liter bottles of the soft drink has resulted in a major game-changing strategy for Pepsi such that 1 liter bottles and smaller packaging is being encouraged. “We believe this will give our retail and food service partners the best chance to succeed in this challenging environment and will minimize the chance of product going out-of-date,” says Jennifer Ryan, a spokesperson for Pepsi.
Pepsi is pulling 2-liter bottles and 12-packs of its products from Philadelphia grocery store shelves over the city’s new tax on sweetened drinks. The company says it wants to offer products and package sizes working families can better afford. The 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax on sweetened and diet beverages is imposed at the distributor level. If fully passed on to the consumer it amounts to $1.44 on a six-pack of 16-ounce bottles.
The company’s decision affects sodas including Pepsi and Mountain Dew and other sweetened drinks like Gatorade and Lipton Ice Tea. Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney’s office says the industry was trending toward smaller sizes well before the tax passed. Overall, soda sales are still fizzling out in Philadelphia, but Coca-Cola has yet to publicly announce any upcoming layoffs in the area. The same can’t be said for Pepsi, which, earlier this month, announced plans to lay off up to 100 workers as a direct result of the tax.