It’s another sign of the health conscious times as Coca-Cola announces it will buy the maker of Glaceau Vitaminwater in order to keep up with Pepsi in the non-carbonated drink department. The price of this purchase will be $4.1 billion, though this hopes to be well worth it for Coke, who along with its arch-nemesis Pepsi, has seen a decline in soft drink purchases by 1.2 percent compared with a 1.3 percent fall for Pepsi. In fact, soon after the announcement was made, Coca-Cola’s shares rose 76 cents to $52, complimenting the 17 percent rise in the last year, allowing the company to maintain its rank as the number one soft drink maker, despite being the largest deal made by the company throughout its 115 year existence.

The deal for Energy Brands Inc. will be paid in cash. The company was founded in 1996 and makes up 30 percent of the country’s market for enhanced waters from its headquarters in Queens, New York. Enhanced waters often have vitamins, minerals, and flavors added to them. Currently, Pepsi owns the three water drinks that make up 45 percent of enhanced water sales including SoBe, Aquafina, and Propel while Coca-Cola owns only about 5 percent of all water sales. With the purchase of Glaceau, Coke just may be able to compete with Pepsi in the water department, and take its share of the $350 million industry with products like Vitamin Water, Fruit Water, SmartWater and Vitamin Energy.

Of course, marketing is crucial in order to succeed in its feat. This is why celebrities are already being pursued to help sell bottles of Glaceau to the masses. The celebrities who have been contacted include Kelly Clarkson, San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker, and Daniel Briere of the Buffalo Sabers. If someone had told me ten years ago that water would one day be more popular than soft drinks, I would have made them buy me a Coke, or a Pepsi, not an Aquafina or Vitamin Water for saying something so outrageous. However, if that’s what it takes for America to kick its obesity problem, then more power to them.

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