Dr Pepper TEN: The difficulties facing "not quite diet" carbonated soft drinks
Dr Pepper TEN was conceived as a mid-calorie soda, i.e. a soft drink with improved health claims but which does not compromise on taste. The product was launched with a controversial marketing campaign that was male-focused. As Dr Pepper Snapple wanted to expand the mid-calorie concept to its other brands, TEN was repositioned to make it more inclusive. However, sales have remained disappointing.
Features and benefits
- Understand what Dr Pepper TEN is and the market it targets.
- Analyze the marketing campaign used to launch the mid-calorie variant of Dr Pepper and how ultimately, it proved to be damaging.
- Assess why mid-calorie sodas have struggled to find a niche.
Dr Pepper TEN began as a 10-calorie version of Dr Pepper soda aiming to deliver more healthy content while retaining enough of the standard ingredients to retain the original flavor. TEN grew into a wider platform encompassing 10-calorie versions of all Dr Pepper Snapple's main brands. It remains on sale but has generally undershot expectations.
The market for mid-calorie beverages has proved challenging; consumers remain more likely to buy full diet versions or go outside the category.
TEN suffered prolonged fallout from the early male-centric marketing; it drew ridicule, alienated women, and used a manliness cliché that damaged equity among men too. Your key questions answered
- What is Dr Pepper TEN?
- Who are mid-calorie sodas aimed at?
- Have mid-calorie sodas been successful?
- What does the future hold for health-oriented sodas?
- HEALTH OPTION CONTROVERSIALLY MARKETED
- TEN hit the market backed by a controversial ""It's not for women"" advertising campaign
- TEN repositioned for both genders as the concept rolled out to other Dr Pepper brands, but sales have remained soft
- LACK OF CONSUMER ENTHUSIASM AND FLAWED MARKETING HAMPER TEN
- TEN concept not sufficiently differentiated from ailing diet soda category
- Dr Pepper's approach to mid-calorie sodas not as cautious as other major players
- Low-calorie sweeteners regarded with caution by consumers, obvious implications for mid-calorie products
- Flawed marketing of the original Dr Pepper TEN product may have done lasting damage to consumer perceptions
- Dr Pepper failed to understand current gender dynamics within consumerism
- Wider TEN platform sought gender-neutrality but emphasizes weaknesses of diet carbonated soft drinks in its message
- Marketing on social clichés is a dangerous exercise
- MID-CALORIE STRUGGLES TO FIND A NICHE
- ""Not quite diet"" is an awkward proposition to sell
- Continued innovation in sweetener and zero calorie taste development necessary
- Mid-calorie beverages and their marketing claims can weaken perceptions of diet options
- Poorly marketed product without a place, focus on diet a better bet
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