As one of those consumers I have bellied up to slightly flavored seltzer. Migrating away from compulsively guzzling cola for energy boosts, I am determined to maintain calm or centering. In discount stores, that seltzer runs about 50-cents a bottle, less than half the cost of the brandname cola next to it. Likely there will never be another Cola War. Marketing gimmicks will involve other kinds of beverages, some which haven't been developed yet and brought maintstream.
A sign of these unsettled times, Coca-Cola has announced that its Americas head Steve Cahillane is leaving. As THE WALL STREET JOURNAL reports, during the first three quarters of 2013, operating income fell 8% in North America. In the U.S. market, soda accounts for about 60% of the company's income. Here is that coverage in WSJ (sub. req.).
Thought leaders on trends have a lot of material in observing and deconstructing what is happening in the soda niche. In 10 years, will the term "soda" be as much an anachronism as the term "secretary."