updated 3/12/2008 2:47:44 PM ET 2008-03-12T18:47:44

Sales of carbonated soft drinks across the United States slid by a larger margin last year compared with the year before, according to an annual study published Wednesday by Beverage Digest.

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Sales fell by 2.3 percent in 2007, compared to a decline of 0.6 percent in 2006, according to the report.

Declines during the past three years compare to roughly 3 percent annual growth in U.S. carbonated soft-drink sales in the 1990s.

The data includes energy drinks, but does not include bottled water, sports drinks and other non-carbonated drinks.

Beverage Digest tracks carbonated soft-drink volume in all channels, including retail, vending and fountain.

The top two companies in the sector, Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co. and Purchase, New York-based PepsiCo, both saw carbonated soft-drink volume declines of 2.7 percent last year, according to the report. Both lost market share. Coke maintained the top spot for carbonated soft drinks, with 42.8 percent of market share, followed by Pepsi at 31.1 percent.

Some beverage makers who once relied heavily on carbonated soft-drink sales have in recent years been putting more focus on water and sports drinks as consumers have begun to favor drinks that are perceived to be healthier.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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