Philadelphia's recent soda tax has led to a disastrous decline in soft-drink sales, according to the beverage industry.
According to sources, Philadelphia supermarkets have seen Coca-Cola sales volumes fall 30 percent to 50 percent. As a result, many are cutting shelf space for beverages like soft drinks, teas and juices by as much as 50 percent.
Rival PepsiCo has seen a 40 percent drop in beverage sales and only a 10 percent to 15 percent bump in sales just outside the city, leading to cuts of 80 to 100 jobs out of 423 in the area. That means the tax is generally not pushing consumers to purchase fizzy drinks outside Philadelphia.
Coca-Cola said it doesn't have any job cuts happening at this time; the company employs 700 in the metro area.
Those who do go outside the city to buy sweetened drinks, including diet beverages, haven't offset those who have stopped buying the drinks altogether.
The City of Brotherly Love's new soda tax has high stakes for the beverage industry, as other cities look to follow in Philadelphia's footsteps.
In June, Philadelphia's City Council approved a 1.5-cent-per-ounce distributor levy on soda, making it the first major city to tax the beverages. Companies and distributors have reacted by passing the increase on to consumers. For instance, consumers in Philadelphia must now shell out about an additional $1.01 on a 2-liter bottle of soda.