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PepsiCo, Inc. (PEP - Analyst Report) has come up with a new line of zero-calorie sparkling water beverages and liquid water enhancers under its Aquafina FlavorSplash brand. The food and beverage giant caters to its customers’ – in particular parents’ – ‘better for you’ requirement with this launch.

The Aquafina FlavorSplash soft drink contains zero calories per 16.9 ounce and is available in three flavors — kiwi strawberry, orange citrus and a four berry blend.

The liquid water enhancers contain zero calories per 1.62 fluid ounce serving and are available in squeezable packages with three flavors – strawberry, peach mango and mixed berry.

The North American Food and Beverage sector is witnessing changes in consumer preferences toward health and wellness and “good-for-you” products due to rising health consciousness and increasing public and governmental concerns regarding obesity and other co-morbidities. Beverage giants are witnessing declining sales of carbonated beverages, especially the colas, due to this emerging health and wellness fad. So growth in the beverage segment is possible only by shifting away from high-calorie carbonated beverages to healthier products like juices, and energy and sports drinks.

The Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) company is looking beyond its high-calorie soft drinks and trying to make low-calorie beverages, non-carbonated beverages and healthier snacks. Its low-calorie cola – Pepsi Next – which contains 60% less sugar, achieved nearly $100 million in retail sales in less than 12 months in the market. Moreover, to re-vitalize cola sales which are suffering due to the high-calorie content, the company is developing evolutionary natural sweeteners and flavorings aimed at reducing calories without compromising on the taste.

The Coca-Cola Company (KO - Analyst Report), iconic for its red cola, is expanding its portfolio of non-carbonated drinks which include Powerade sports drinks and Minute Maid fruit juices.

Coca-Cola’s bottler Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. (CCE - Analyst Report) is also slowly shifting its product mix from colas to energy drinks and other non-carbonated beverages.

Coffee giant, Starbucks Corporation (SBUX - Analyst Report), is looking beyond its traditional coffee business and making an effort to bring more nutritional and healthy products to its menu. These include Evolution Fresh juices, Starbucks Refreshers energy drinks and new wholesome Salad Bowls.

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