DR PEPPER SAID TO GINGER UP SALES

PLANO, Texas -- Retailers who stock Dr Pepper along with colas in endcap soft-drink displays can substantially improve their overall case soft-drink volume, according to Dr Pepper Co. officials.Unlike straight cola drinkers, Dr Pepper drinkers also imbibe colas along with their regular and Diet Dr Pepper, said Pete Wurzer, a bottle and can system vice president at Dr Pepper/ Seven-Up, based here."Dr

PLANO, Texas -- Retailers who stock Dr Pepper along with colas in endcap soft-drink displays can substantially improve their overall case soft-drink volume, according to Dr Pepper Co. officials.

Unlike straight cola drinkers, Dr Pepper drinkers also imbibe colas along with their regular and Diet Dr Pepper, said Pete Wurzer, a bottle and can system vice president at Dr Pepper/ Seven-Up, based here.

"Dr Pepper drinkers buy more cola than regular cola drinkers, so use parity pricing and display Dr Pepper with colas on endcaps," Wurzer told an audience of Dr. Pepper bottlers when he spoke at the 1998 Dr Pepper Bottlers Convention held in Orlando late last year.

He noted that in a test store when Dr Pepper was merchandised on an endcap with a leading cola, the cola sales increased 17% compared with another store that had a cola-only display.

Cindi Clark, senior vice president for marketing, said Dr Pepper plans to increase its volume 7% over the next year, which is double the industry average. "Our greatest opportunity for growth is building our current light users," she said. "Our No. 1 objective is to increase usage."

She noted Dr Pepper's brand awareness is up 70% since 1990, and household penetration has increased 7% over the past decade to 27%.

To further increase penetration, Dr Pepper is launching a major on-pack, magazine and direct-mail couponing program in 1999 that will offer 75-cent and free 2-liter bottle coupons to light users and potential future customers.