Pepsi rolls out a new shape for bottle for first time in 17 years

NEW YORK (AP) - Pepsi is rolling out a new shape for its 567g bottle for the first time in about 17 years.

The new bottle has a contoured bottom half that appears easier for holding, and the wraparound label is shorter so that more of the drink is exposed. The change follows a number of splashy moves in the past year by PepsiCo to improve results for its namesake soda, including a multi-year deal to sponsor the Super Bowl half-time show and a wide-ranging deal with the pop star Beyonce.

PepsiCo Inc, based in Purchase, New York, has been working to revitalise the brand after losing market share to Coca-Cola Co. in recent years.

Ms Andrea Foote, a PepsiCo spokesman, said the new bottle is part of the company's ongoing update of marketing and packaging materials for the cola. The single-serve bottles, which are widely sold in coolers at drugstores and other retailers, will begin rolling out in April.

Ms Foote said it will take a year or two before the new bottles entirely replace the current bottles, which the company says were introduced in 1996.

Coca-Cola, based in Atlanta, says its current 567g contour bottle made its US debut in 1993. Small changes were made over the years, such as making the surface easier to grip and shortening the neck of the bottle.

Despite PepsiCo's stepped up efforts, its beverage volume in North America declined by 4 per cent last year. That included a 4-per-cent decline in carbonated soft drinks and a 3-per-cent decline in non-carbonated drinks, according to a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

PepsiCo makes a wide range of products, including Frito-Lay chips, Gatorade, Quaker Oats and Tropicana. But it has long been defined by its namesake soda and its rivalry with Coca-Cola.

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