Chewing the Fat: Carbonated Beverage Sales Going Flat

Carbonated beverages sales are fizzing out, with reports showing 2008 as the fourth consecutive year of decline. Amidst a recession, fears of childhood obesity and the recent findings of BPA in soda cans, a 2009 comeback doesn't look like a very safe bet, either.

With sodas long thought to be recession proof, this begs the question: What are people turning to for comfort? Conventional wisdom--and a poll of Observer staff--says booze, but FiveThirtyEight posts a downward trend in "take-out" sales. This could mean more trips to the bar or a preference for stiffer drinks. Then again, if Hillary Clinton's take on Mexican violence is any indicator, maybe Americans are getting a more pharmaceutical type of relief.

When people do buy soda, it looks like people still want their heads messed with, at least a little bit. Energy drinks, especially in "shot" form, are still a growth industry.

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