PepsiCo's beverage sales fall

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NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Weak sales of Gatorade caused PepsiCo's North American sales to drop for the first time in two years.

And slow traffic at convenience stores pulled down the food maker's volume sales, which includes other drinks such as Diet Pepsi and Lipton tea. Overall company revenue rose but fell shy of analysts' estimates. And the company cut its forecast for revenue growth for the fiscal year.

PepsiCo's shares slid at the market's opening on Wednesday (Oct 4). They have vastly under-performed in the broader market as well as against rival Coca-Cola.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Nik Modi said: "We believe Coca-Cola is gaining share from Pepsi behind its refranchising initiative and more aggressive innovation strategy, particularly in North America."

Soda sales have been falling over the past decade because consumers have become more health conscious. But beverage makers have pushed smaller packs at higher prices to drive dollar sales.

PepsiCo was able to boost income by cutting costs and boosting sales of snacks from its Frito-Lay business.

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