updated 1/8/2007 6:38:16 PM ET 2007-01-08T23:38:16

Prices for soft drinks in the U.S. will rise this year because of higher costs for aluminum, corn syrup and concentrate, an industry analyst said Monday.

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“As a result of these bottler cost increases, consumers will see soft drinks going up this year in the range of 4 percent or perhaps even a little bit more,” said John Sicher, editor and publisher of Beverage Digest.

Bottlers determine the prices for soft drinks on store shelves, while beverage makers like Coca-Cola and Pepsi set prices on the concentrate they provide to the bottlers.

Dan Schafer, a spokesman for The Coca-Cola Co., said the Atlanta-based company has been working on strategies to limit the potential impact of cost increases on consumers.

“Those are costs that will impact all the players in the industry, but when you look at the scale of our business, we think as a company we’re well-positioned,” Schafer said.

Schafer said soft-drink price increases will vary from market to market because of the increased cost of commodities such as aluminum and high fructose corn syrup.

Sicher said some costs are “going up this year on an almost unprecedented level.”

As for what beverage markers charge for concentrate, Sicher said, “They need to increase their revenues to both generate profit increases and to invest back in their brands.”

Dave DeCecco, a spokesman for Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo Inc., said money made from concentrate sales is reinvested in new products, packaging, marketing and strategic initiatives.

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