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Coke and Diet Coke are getting more expensive. Here's why

The average American drinks over 38 gallons of soda a year.
/ Source: TODAY

Soda lovers may want to stock up on their favorite Coca-Cola products soon because the price of the brand's beverages is going up.

James Quincey, president and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, said in an interview with CNBC that rising costs of materials and labor to produce drinks has resulted in the company starting to pass on some of those costs to consumers.

"We had to take, with our bottling partners, an increase on our sparkling beverage industry in the middle of the year, which is relatively uncommon, and that's the freight, the metals, the steel, the aluminum going up, the labor going up," he said in the interview.

On Wednesday, Quincey told the Wall Street Journal those rising costs were due to U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports implemented by President Trump earlier this year, but indicated there were a variety of factors at play. "There is some broad-based push on input costs that have kind of come in and affected ours and many other industries as well," he told the Journal.

Scott Leith, senior director of financial communications for The Coca-Cola Company, told TODAY Food that the price increase has already happened in many markets, but would not specify by how much or exactly how that difference would affect the average consumer.

He did note that prices vary by channel and by customer, which he explained can be a retailer or other types of vendors who sell the company's products. He noted that Coke's distributors and stores have discretion as to what consumers are then charged on the shelf, which may explain why some stores are selling the same item for more (or less).

In March, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC that the increased costs due to any newly-imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum would likely only be pennies or less.

Considering the average American drinks over 38 gallons of soda a year, those pennies could quickly turn into dollars.

Maybe it's time to switch to sparkling water? Or just enjoy plain old tap.