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Introduction

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.

Highlights

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?

Table Of Contents

Dr Pepper TEN: The difficulties facing "not quite diet" carbonated soft drinks
OVERVIEW
Catalyst
Summary
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 cliches 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
CONCLUSIONS
Poorly marketed product without a place, focus on diet a better bet
APPENDIX
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Pepper
Soda
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ref:plp2016

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