The Atkins madness is everywhere, seeming to spread like the slimy pseudopod of a macroscopic protist, engulfing hapless victims and assimilating them into its growing, famished matrix. Sounds like the beginning to a sci-fi novel, huh? Well, it isn't. People have become walking anti-carb entities, and companies continue to evolve by generating responses to the demand.
The beverage industry is aggressively reconstituting its lineup to provide ammo in the ongoing war against the bulge (battle would have been too short term of thinking here, as diets are endless things). Coke is introducing C2, while PepsiCo
The intense scrutiny of carbohydrate intake is affecting many companies, whether it's diet consultantWeight Watchers
I don't really fear that concern. So long as the brands are managed properly and sales data mined carefully, there should always be a place for these new soda/juice concoctions (Diet Coke/Pepsi never went away, as a point of support). And as for that other bete noir -- namely, the cannibalization of performance currently enjoyed by other portfolio compatriots -- I believe the upside potential far outweighs the implied risks.
Besides, I look forward to these lighter drinks because I certainly don't look forward to gazing at my gut every morning in the mirror. Every little bit helps, I suppose.
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Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns shares of Coca-Cola.