This Is the Most Unpopular Soda in America, According to Data
When it comes to the big soda brands, this is the one consumers like the least.
The U.S. soft drink market is anticipated to reach $388.4 billion by the year 2025, according to a study conducted by Grand View Research, Inc. And while pretty much any non-alcoholic beverage—from bottled water to energy drinks—falls into the soft drink category, for most of us, the term is most associated with soda pop. Of course, not every soda is bringing in the big bucks, either. So, at Best Life, we set out to determine which one of the biggest brands in the beverage business makes the drink that's bringing up the rear. Yes, we crunched the numbers to determine the most unpopular soda in America.
First, we choose 12 of the biggest names in soda based on brand recognition and market share. Then we chose three key metrics to analyze: annual revenue data* on the largest soda brands from Zippia, where each brand ranked in a consumer poll of the 62 best soda brands on Ranker.com as of Aug. 20, 2021, and the number of fans each brand has on Facebook.
We then gave each of these metrics a weighted value before running them through our exclusive algorithm to see how each beverage scored on our 100-point Soda Flop Index, with a score of 100 indicating the most unpopular soda of the 12 we analyzed. Read on to discover the most unpopular big name soda in America, see what consumers have to say about each brand, and find out where your bubbly beverage of choice falls in the mix.
*Since Coca-Cola and Pepsi own the vast majority of the major players in the carbonated soft drink market, annual revenue only factored into each soda's final score if the data was available for how much that specific brand (not the company as a whole) was responsible for generating. Otherwise, "N/A" was used in the cases where those earnings figures were not available. This metric was also given far less weight than the other two in order to more fairly assess consumer popularity.
Annual revenue: $37.27 billion
Best sodas of all time rank: 12
Facebook fans: 105 million
Soda Flop Index Score: 0.00
"My family drinks Coke on a daily basis," Stacy of Delbarton, West Virginia wrote in a ConsumerAffairs review. "I literally buy a case every day and have always loved the taste and the fact that it doesn't go flat as fast."
Annual revenue: $20 billion
Best sodas of all time rank: 5
Facebook fans: 37.1 million
Soda Flop Index Score: 22.65
"I've been a Pepsi product drinker for many many years and I must admit, I've always enjoyed every sip until the last drop," Itachi of Wagener, South Carolina began a review on ConsumerAffairs. "But this year I've noticed that Pepsi products leave an extremely [awful] taste in my mouth. This taste is stale and [indescribable]."
Annual revenue: $11.2 billion
Best sodas of all time rank: 1
Facebook fans: 13.8 million
Soda Flop Index Score: 28.54
"Dr. Pepper has been my favorite drink for like the last year!! It has a great flavor and it doesn't go flat super fast!! Also it's pretty cool how there are 23 flavors in one can," Sara H. said on Influenster.
A&W Root Beer
Annual revenue: N/A
Best sodas of all time rank: 2
Facebook fans: 28,208
Soda Flop Index Score: 30.33
"It's ok. I feel like it's not super bubbly [and] tastes a bit flat, in my opinion. But for a float it would be ok," Evelynn D. wrote on Influenster.
Annual revenue: $6 billion
Best sodas of all time rank: 3
Facebook fans: 22.0 million
Soda Flop Index Score: 31.94
"If I were to drink pop, I would choose to drink Sprite," gaumum wrote in a review on ChickAdvisor. "That is the pop of choice whenever I eat out. I like that it is colorless and it has no caffeine. It quenches my thirst effectively and is sweet. The only reason I don't drink it more often is due to its sugar content … but it's likely no more than any other pop."
Annual revenue: N/A
Best sodas of all time rank: 7
Facebook fans: 19.0 million
Soda Flop Index Score: 33.78
"I have always been a huge fan of Fanta drinks, [they're] refreshing and just great to have when outdoors," Aurelia C. wrote in an Influenster review. "[The] orange flavored one in particular isn't my first choice but still I like it."
Annual revenue: $7 billion
Best sodas of all time rank: 6
Facebook fans: 7.9 million
Soda Flop Index Score: 43.67
"Not a fan of Mountain Dew," Ashley N. said on Influenster. "I do not like the flavor and it is not worth it to me for all the sugar, calories, and artificial ingredients. Just not the product for me."
Barq's Root Beer
Annual revenue: N/A
Best sodas of all time rank: 11
Facebook fans: 14,533
Soda Flop Index Score: 53.09
According to the root beer experts over at the blog Root Beer Reviews for the Rest of Us: "Barq's root beer has a very mainstream flavor in that it is hard to find much in it to really savor. Much like the carbonation, the flavor is flat and leaves a slightly metallic aftertaste. There is not much else to say. Barq's simply misses the mark in the flavor department."
Annual revenue: $15.7 million
Best sodas of all time rank: 9
Facebook fans: 2.9 million
Soda Flop Index Score: 55.65
"I really like the flavor but I can't imagine any reason to put that much sugar and acid in a drink," Ayah Z. wrote on Influenster. "I like the diet version though, personally. I'm not sure I can recommend this in its non-diet form as it can't be good for your health or your teeth."
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Annual revenue: $1.15 billion
Best sodas of all time rank: 13
Facebook fans: 3.4 million
Soda Flop Index Score: 63.30
"It's sweet and brightly colored and smells good (even though it's all chemicals, I doubt an orange has ever even remotely been near this drink)," said Huma R. on Influenster. "I used to drink this a lot as a kid and it's a miracle I have any teeth at all."
Annual revenue: $1 billion
Best sodas of all time rank: 26
Facebook fans: 1.1 million
Soda Flop Index Score: 91.74
"Not a fan. Very odd flavor [and] almost a little too sugary or artificial. [It also] seems to be flat," Mary-Claire K. said in her Influenster review of the citrus soda.
Annual revenue: N/A
Best sodas of all time rank: 30
Facebook fans: 2.4 million
Soda Flop Index Score: 100.00
"This product may taste good, but … it is also highly acidic, contributing to tooth enamel erosion," Amanda-Kay P. advised in her review of Diet Coke on Influenster. "I was hooked on this drink for years, and when I finally stopped drinking it, my constant headaches were gone."