The push to reduce the amount of sugar in soft drinks -- long seen as a threat to the beverage industry -- has been more profitable for Coca-Cola Co. than expected.
To respond to consumers’ growing aversion to the sweetener, the company is offering smaller bottles and cans -- essentially getting customers to pay more for less product. It’s also creating new brands and reformulating existing drinks to cut sugar. Coca-Cola says the shift will actually increase sales, and the company’s third-quarter results on Wednesday backed up that confidence. Revenue beat analysts’ estimates, helped by water and sports drinks as well as the higher-margin small packages.