It is intereresting to note that only three firms control 89% of US soft drink sales. This dominance is obscured from us by the appearance of numerous choices on retailer shelves. Steve Hannaford refers to this as “pseudovariety,” or the illusion of diversity, concealing a lack of real choice. To visualize the extent of pseudovariety in this industry, www.msu.edu developed a cluster diagram to represent the number of soft drink brands and varieties found in the refrigerator cases of 94 Michigan retailers, along with their ownership connections.

The illusion of diversity in the soft drink industry extends beyond obscuring ownership, as its products are primarily water and sweeteners. More research is needed on the links between pseudovariety and the consumption of energy-dense, nutrient-poor substances.

View Infograph here and full article from MSU