Amid New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's push to ban sugary drinks
exceeding 16 ounces and mounting evidence that soft drinks are bad news, Pepsi is putting the focus on large beverages sizes by rolling out a newly shaped bottle for 20-ounce drinks.
The Associated Press reported that the soft drink giant's drink redesign
, with a contoured bottom half that makes gripping easier, is its first in 17 years. The wraparound label is also smaller, exposing more of the drink.
The 20-ounce bottle change is one of many the company has made in the past year. Pepsi signed a huge multi-year deal to sponsor the halftime Super Bowl show and another deal with pop star Beyoncé.
PepsiCo Spokesperson Andrea Foote said that the new 20-ounce bottle is part of the company's ongoing progress in updating the marketing and packaging for the cola.
Slated to hit the market in April, the bottles will first appear in New York then Chicago followed by parts of Florida and California.
The brand's drinks that aren't as common, like 16-ounce bottles, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi Next, and Pepsi Max will see the new shape grace their bottles as well.
The current bottles were introduced back in 1996. Foote predicts the roll out will take a year or two before and it is expected that the new curvier shape will completely replace them within the next year or two, according to Today.com.
PepsiCo Inc., based in Purchase, N.Y., has been rolling out the changes
in an attempt to revitalize the brand after losing market share to Coca-Cola Co. in recent years. Last year, the New York Post reported that the company was considering cutting about 4,000 jobs and reducing pension contributions to boost its earnings.
The news of the new bottle designs come as Bloomberg is pushing harder than ever to pass a ban that would prohibit sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces from the hands of consumers. Though eateries and businesses across the city have opposed the ban and it was struck down by a Supreme Court judge
a day before it was supposed to go into effect, the mayor is hell-bent on getting the passing the measure
Additionally, a new study from Harvard University claims that sugary drinks are the source of 180,000 deaths nationwide annually
. The study backs up evidence that sugar drinks contribute to obesity and other chronic health concerns. Unsurprisingly, the American Beverage Association has disputed the study's claims, calling the research "sensationalism more than science."
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