The Difference Between Generic and Name-Brand Drinking Soda

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Basic packaging makes this soda cheaper than other brands.
Basic packaging makes this soda cheaper than other brands. (Image: PhotoObjects.net/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

The difference between generic and name-brand drinking soda has nothing to do with taste, according to finance experts at US News, Marketing and packaging are two elements that separate generic sodas from their name-brand counterparts. Shoppers steer away from generic, but the items can offer substantial savings without sacrificing taste.

Marketing

One difference between generic and name-brand drinking soda involves marketing. Ads featuring celebrities and catchy jingles cost money. Companies pay big bucks to writers, agents and others to attract attention to their soda brands. Aggressive marketing must occur often for a product to stay relevant in the consumer market. Generic products have no marketing. Companies create products, then ship them to stores, where employees shelve them. Shoppers purchase generic sodas out of necessity; not to emulate celebrity.

Packaging

Another difference between generic and name-brand drinking soda is in packaging. The issue ties into marketing. Well-known soda brands have distinct packaging to make them stand out among competitors. Some products feature special holiday or promotional artwork. Licensing and trademarks, along with the artwork, are additional expenses the manufacturer incurs before consumers purchase a single can. Generic sodas feature minimal, basic print that requires no special equipment or processing. Keeping production costs low keeps consumer costs down.

Availability

Availability is another difference between generic and name-brand drinking soda. People can buy brand name sodas in a variety of domestic and international markets. Transportation costs, international marketing and foreign endorsements increase product pricing. Generic sodas have limited distribution. Consumers cannot purchase generic soda available in their hometown supermarket while traveling through Europe. Local companies manufacture generic sodas for exclusive distribution through local retail outlets. Keeping manufacturing and distribution local minimizes consumer costs.

Consumer Pricing

The most relevant difference between generic and name-brand drinking soda involves consumer pricing. According to financial consultants, purchasing generic soda saves consumers 50 to 60 percent. Considering Americans spent $70 billion on soda purchases in 2010, a 50-percent savings would be significant. Consumers are led to believe the cheaper cost of generic sodas is a direct result of inferior taste. Some may be hesitant to give up their favorite brands, but Xfinity Finance stated there was no difference detected during consumer taste tests.

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