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Pepsi To Match Coke’s Price Hike

November 22, 1999

NEW YORK (AP) _ PepsiCo Inc. and its biggest bottler plan to raise their prices next year following similar increases by the industry leader, Coca-Cola Co.

One industry watcher, John Sicher of Beverage Digest, said Monday the moves may translate into an increaseof 2 percent to 3 percent in the prices at supermarkets for brands like Coke, Pepsi, Diet Coke and Mountain Dew.

Sicher said retail prices for soft drinks already have climbed 2 percent to 3 percent this year, after falling in recent years. He said bottlers are raising prices in hopes of generating higher returns on their investments.

PepsiCo told its U.S. bottlers last week that it would boost its price for soft-drink concentrate by 6.9 percent effective in February. That was about the same increase as Coca-Cola earlier announced to its U.S. bottlers.

Soft-drink concentrate is only one of the ingredients that goes into soft drinks, however.

The Pepsi Bottling Group Inc., which accounts for 53 percent of Pepsi-Cola’s sales volume in the United States, told analysts Friday that it may boost prices to the stores by 1 percent to 2 percent from current levels. The huge bottler boosted its prices by 3 percent last summer.

Those increases are in line with hikes announced earlier by Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., which handles about 70 percent of Coca-Cola sales in the U.S.

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