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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that both the Coca-Cola Co.
and PepsiCo are looking to capitalize on the growing popularity of the diet soda segment - the only part of the carbonated drink category that seems to be expanding.

Coke reportedly is trying to figure out a way to get more shelf space for its diet sodas, while Pepsi looks to spend more money promoting Diet Pepsi.

"For the past three years," the Journal-Constitution reports, "sales of diet sodas have crept upward, creating one of the few bright spots in the otherwise lagging U.S. soft-drink business." While diet sodas reached a peak of popularity in 1990-91, with 29.7 percent of the soft drink market, they then started to decline…until 2000, when they started to grow again. This year, it is estimated that the diet category will be up four percent, compared to just 0.8 percent for the entire soft drink category.

The reasons: aging baby boomers, an increased emphasis on health and fitness, and the national obsession with obesity issues.
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