Coca-Cola profit and revenue fall

Americans are starting to reach for Coca-Cola again, but they’re doing so, in part, with mini-cans and smaller bottles rather than larger quantities.

After months of sales struggles in its biggest market, the Atlanta-based beverage giant on Tuesday reported case volume for regular Coke, the world’s No. 1 soft drink, climbed 1 percent in the second quarter in North America. About 60 percent of that volume came from smaller packages, such as Coke’s 8-ounce mini-can, Coke’s Chief Executive Officer Muhtar Kent said.

That increase took place as the soft drink industry fights a battle in the United States with health advocates and local governments over concerns that soda consumption is a big contributor to the nation’s obesity.

It also comes as Diet Coke’s volume fell again in North America in the second quarter, a trend Coca-Cola North America President Sandy Douglas blamed on poor marketing and what he called a misperception about the health effects of artificial sweeteners.

Sales of regular Coke had been flat or slumping over the past few years as consumers switched to waters, teas and energy drinks as alternatives. The introduction of mini-cans in 2009 gave consumers additional options in package sizes across several Coke brands.

Still, the company’s overall earnings for the second quarter, which ended June 27, were down. Net income fell from $2.7 billion in the second quarter of 2013 to $2.6 billion in the second quarter of this year. Earnings per share dropped from 59 cents in 2013 to 58 cents this year.

Revenue was $12.6 billion in the second quarter of this year, compared with $12.75 billion during the same period a year ago.

Overall volume was even in North America, but global volume grew 3 percent in the quarter.