Critical Thinking

The carbon-di-oxide gas. The buyers are of all

            The soft drink industry was a seasonal
business in the early days, operating primarily during the summer months. Sales
were limited by few outlets for the new carbonated beverages, and by the
consumer’s restricted mobility.

 

            For many years, pharmacists were the driving
force behind the refinement of soft drinks and many of the flavours and
combinations. Their association with chemistry and medicine made them ideally
suited for this centre attraction in many towns in the mid 1800’s. It was
customary to gather around the new soda fountains and enjoy one’s favourite
refreshment mixed on the spot. However, as the corner drugstore grew in
popularity, the soft drink bottling industry was taking shape.

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            Gradually, demand grew for soft drinks to be
consumed in the home. Bottling the product proved difficult at first, since
pressure from the carbon dioxide forced corks right out of the bottles.
Clearly, if soft drinks were ever to be sold for consumption beyond the corner
pharmacy, there would have to be a way to keep them corked. Inventors worked
for years to develop a solution, patenting some 1,500 different corks, caps and
lids for soft drink bottles.

 

Soft drink is non-alcoholic drink, which is to be
consumed chilled, and does not stimulate one’s nervous system. The ingredients
of the soft drink are flavour, water and carbon-di-oxide gas. The buyers are of
all age groups and both sex. Soft drinks have manufactured since long time.
They are of various flavours like Orange,
Lemon, Mango and Cola. In India,
aerated waters also known as ‘Soda’ was first introduced since time immemorial,
and which is still popular with the masses due to its low price.

 

Aerated
waters or soft drinks may be divided into two classes namely Aerated Table
Waters and effervescent beverages. The effervescent beverages are flavoured and
are known as ‘Soda Water’, ‘Soda’, and these include ginger also. Natural and
synthetic flavours are used and synthetic flavours are the outcome of
laboratory experiments.

 

Artificially
aerated waters had their inception in Priestly’s success in 1972 in producing
aerated mineral spring water. Large-scale manufacture of aerated waters was
started by Paul at Geneva and afterwards by
Showeppe in London.
In United States of America,
a person added fruit juice as flavour and soft drink industry started from then
onwards.

 

            Pepsi has been targeting its products
towards youth and it has struck right chord with the market and the sales have
been doing well by sticking to this youth bandwagon. Coke on the other hand
struggled initially in establishing it self in the market. In a span of 7 years
of its operations in the county it changed its CEO four times but finally they
seem to have started understanding the pulse of Indian consumers. Soft drinks
are available in glass bottles, aluminum cans and PET bottles for homes
consumption. Fountains also dispense them in disposable containers.

 

Soft drinks are available in glass bottles, aluminum cans and PET
bottles for homes consumption. Fountains also dispense them in disposable
containers. Non-cola segment, which constitutes 36%, can be divided into 4
categories based on the types of flavours available, namely:

 

i) Orange flavour based soft drinks
constitute around 17% of the market. The segment is largely dominated by
national brands like Fanta of Coca Cola and Mirinda Orange of Pepsi Company,
which collectively form 15% of the market rest of the market is in hands of
smaller brands like Crush (earlier of Cadbury Schweppes and now of coca Cola),
Gold Spot etc.

 

ii) Cloudy Lime flavour constitutes 14% of the market and is
largely dominated by Limca of coca cola and Mirinda Lemon of Pepsi Company.
Limca is the market leader with around 70-75% of the market followed by Mirinda
Lemon.

       

iii) Clear Lime segment of the market witnessed good growth
initially with all the players launching their brands in the segment. But now
the growth in the segment has slowed 
down. The brands available in this segment are 7 Up of Pepsi, Sprite of
Coca-Cola and Canada Dry (earlier of Cadbury Schweppes and now of Coca-cola).
The segment constitutes 3% of the total soft drinks market.

 

            iv) Mango flavour segment constitutes 2% of
the total soft drinks market and it directly completed with mango based fruit
drinks like Frooti. The leading brands in this segment are: Maaza of Coca-Cola,
Mangola (Earlier of Dukes now of Pepsi Company) and Slice of Pepsi Company.

           

REVIEW OF LITERATURE

            Consumer
behaviour relates to an individual person (Micro behaviour), whereas
consumption behaviour relates to the mass or aggregate of individuals (Macro
behaviour). “The study of consumer behaviour always focuses on the decision
processes of the individual consumer or consuming with, such as the family. It
includes the efforts to describe and explain one or more acts of choice either
at a given time or over a period of time. In contrast, the study of consumption
behaviour is concerned with the description and explanation of the behaviour of
aggregates of consumers or consuming units, again to a given time or over a
period of time. The subject matter of consumption behaviour parallels at the
aggregate level to that of Consumer behaviour at the Individual level ”  ¾ Nicosia (2010).

 

In general, consumers use a variety of cues to infer
product quality. These cues, including extrinsic, are not related directly to
product performance and intrinsic cues that are derived directly from the
physical product. For example, price, brand name and store name (extrinsic
cues) would be used by consumers in their assessment of the quantity of a
breakfast cereal. Therefore numerous cues affect quality. Perceptions and the
use of multiple independent variables in addition to the price cue is necessary
for valid empirical tests.

 

Analyzing the perceived risks related with brand loyalty,
Sheth and Venkatesan have studied consumer decision making over time and
explored risk reduction  processes in
terms of Information seeking, Pre purchase deliberation and brand loyalty ¾ Venkatesan (Aug 2010).

 

Brody and Cunningham have suggested in their study that the
personality variables such as income, Education, etc., should better identify
brand choice for groups exhibiting successfully greater brand loyalty ¾ Cunningham (Feb 2011).

Keon, in his study on the advertising images, brand images
and consumer preferences, has established that the advertising effect occurred
for existing brands ¾  John W. Keon (Dec 2011/ Jan 84).

 

            Woodside
and Wilson have analyzed how the consumer awareness of specific brands and
advertising of brands affected consumer purchase intentions and purchase
behaviour. They have tested whether awareness levels of competing brand
advertising relates to brand preference, and reported for seven brands in three
product categories. The empirical results confirmed strong positive
relationships among unaided brand awareness, top of the mind awareness
advertising, and brand preference ¾ Wilson (2012).

 

Rao has discussed as to how a consumer’s selection of a
store for the purchase of any product is not a completely Random process and
how she (housewife) exhibited bias in her choice of the store ¾ Tenniru R. Rao (Aug 2012).

 

According to him, i. a consumer exhibits bias in selecting
the kind of retailer (drugstore, food store discount store etc.,) in which she
buys a particular product, ii. A bias toward a store among different kinds of
retailers, iii. Store switching increases brand switching, iv. consumer changes
the purchases size when she changes store or brand, and v. she generally
decreases rather than increases the purchase size with a change in store or
brand. In short, she does not only affect a consumer’s probability of
purchasing a brand past experience with the brand but also by her selection of
the store for the purchase.

 

Goldman has tested whether the lower income consumers have
a more restricted shopping scope and found in one product area (furniture) that
they made less use of the shopping alternatives available to them  ¾  Goldman (Jan 2013).

 

Objectives
of the study

·          
To
study the brand choice consumer behaviour in soft drinks.  

·          
To
study the market size, potential and a distribution variety soft drinks
products.             

·          
To
identify the best selling of the soft drinks.

·          
To
find the fast moving soft drinks.

·          
To
know the effectiveness of the advertisement.

·          
To
find the consumer opinion about various brand of soft drinks.

·          
To
identify the customers preference regarding the factors of soft drinks.

 

METHODOLOGY

Research
design is purely and simply the framework or plan for a study that guides the
collection and analysis of the data. The research design indicates the methods
of research i.e. the method of gathering information and the method of
sampling. Primary data were collected by conducting direct structured interview
using questionnaire. All the respondents were asked the same questions in the
same fashion and they were informed the purpose of study. The data were
collected by using questionnaire as an instrument.  The data required for the study was collected
through a questionnaire. The data collected through such filled-in
questionnaires have been used for further analysis. A standardized
questionnaire to collect data on beliefs, feelings and attitudes from the
respondents is being used and also the researcher have contributed this efforts
in framing the questionnaire. The purpose of study is explained clearly to the
respondents. So, nothing about the purpose of study is concealed from the
respondents. Sampling plan is to be decided about the sampling unit, sample
size, sampling Method. For this study the samples were drawn using random
sample method. Sample size of the study that are selected from the sampling
unit. Total estimated sample size is 120 in Cuddalore district.

 

ANALYSIS
AND INTERPRETATION

Table 1: Preference of various Soft drinks by the Consumers

Particular

Always

Often

Occasionally

Rarely

Never

Total

Pepsi

29

4

48

25

14

120

Coco-cola

16

15

27

16

46

120

Mirana

24

33

48

9

6

120

Maaza

12

37

17

29

25

120

“7”
up

23

17

27

30

23

120

Limca

13

17

12

25

53

120

Citra

13

15

26

11

55

120

Fanta

39

35

23

7

16

120

Crush

0

15

22

22

61

120

Canada Day

2

15

17

10

76

120

Any other
drinks

47

48

6

8

11

120

 

Calculated chi-square value

Degrees of freedom

Level of significant

459.7

40

0.01

 

Ho:
There is no association between the type of brands and preferences by the
consumers.

 

The result shows that the calculated chi-square
value which is significant at 0.01 level. Hence the stated hypothesis is
accepted. So it is concluded that there is an association between the type of
brands and preference of various brands.

 

Table 2:
Consumers opinion about the various factors of soft Drinks

Factors

Very Good

Good

Average

Poor

Total

Taste

71

43

6

0

120

Coolness

27

68

19

6

120

Freshness

54

34

26

6

120

Benefit of
feeling mentioned

49

30

27

14

120

Benefit of
thirst being satisfied

47

30

21

22

120

Benefit of
feeling refreshed

53

29

16

22

120

 

Calculated chi-square value

Degrees of freedom

Level of significant

100.7

15

0.01

 

Ho: There is no
association between the various factors of soft drinks and consumers opinion.

 

            The
result of chi-square value (100.7) which is significant at 0.01 level. Hence
the stated hypothesis is rejected. So it is concluded that there is an
association between the various factors of soft drinks and consumers opinion.
Further the result also indicates that among the various factors most of the
consumers preferred taste and freshness.

 

Table 3:
Consumers opinion after using the particular soft drink

Opinion

SA

A

NO

D

SD

Total

The taste is
very good and fresh lingers for an hour

56

38

24

0

2

120

More Energetic

54

52

6

6

2

120

The Stomach
upset

60

25

17

12

6

120

There is no
special effect

0

8

27

38

47

120

Nothing special
but it is OK

8

21

43

0

18

120

SA = Strongly
Agree  A = Agree   NO = No Opinion  D = Disagree

SD = Strongly
Disagree

 

Calculated chi-square value

Degrees of freedom

Level of significant

342.9

16

0.01

 

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