Soft drinks are set to become the biggest beverage sector in the world, overtaking hot drinks, with consumption rising by around 5 per cent a year, according to a new report from Zenith International. But while the US remains the biggest market for now, it is Asia which is likely to be the main driver of sales growth in the future.
Growth in the global soft drinks market is far greater than that in other beverage categories, according to Zenith, and total sales should reach 467 billion litres this year, equivalent to 75 litres per person.
“Economic and climate variations around the world present complications for all soft drinks companies, but many have succeeded at weathering the elements,” said Zenith?s research director Gary Roethenbaugh.
“As a combined category, soft drinks offer a powerful growth proposition. The unrelenting advance of bottled water and still drinks, coupled with the scale of carbonates, help place soft drinks on track to become the number one beverage sector in 2005.”
The report shows that carbonates are the largest soft drinks segment, with a 2002 share of 42 per cent, but that bottled water is catching up fast with a 32 per cent share. Growth in the water segment is the fastest in the industry as a whole at 9 per cent, and is being driven by increasing awareness of the health benefits of proper hydration, and by a high level of innovation, with flavoured and functional waters take an increasing share of throat.
Still drinks, another segment which has shown strong growth in recent years, now accounts for 11 per cent of total sales, the report shows, while the fruit juice/nectars segment is the fourth largest with an 8 per cent share. Dilutables is the smallest category with 7 per cent of sales.