There's an opportunity for you, challenger brand, to take advantage of the backlash against soda and create a little niche for yourself. Innovate around where the audience is, from Gen Y- and Z-ers to helicopter parents who couldn't imagine anything as toxic as soda touching their children's lips.
Food isn't tobacco. And Coca-Cola isn't Philip Morris. But the playbook is the same, and we ignore it at our peril.
Big Soda must know it has a public relations problem on its hands. With study after study making plainer the links between sugary-drink consumption and obesity, the industry is under siege.