Asia’s rising stars challenging soft drinks leaders

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 5th February 2014
Asia’s rising stars challenging soft drinks leaders

The three largest global soft drinks brands continue to be Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola and Sprite, but Chinese brand Kangshifu (Tingyi Holding Corp) is not far behind, according to the latest findings from Canadean.

The ranking of the top three soft drinks brands has remained unchanged over the last decade. However, behind these major international carbonates brands, there is lots of movement led by the burgeoning Asian market, according to Canadean. The key difference between these Asian products and Coca-Cola and PepsiCo’s brands is that they are mainly sold in just one country.

China shows biggest increase in soft drink sales

Perhaps unsurprisingly, China was the country that saw the biggest year-on-year increase of soft drink sales, with some local brands seeing explosive growth over the last decade. Kangshifu, also known as Master Kong, is now the fourth best-selling brand globally, behind Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola and Sprite.

According to Canadean, the brand has seen amazing growth in recent years, rising from below 30th positions ten years ago to fifth position five years ago. Over the last five years, sales of Kangshifu rose by over 6,000 million litres, with its iced tea drinks and packaged water products being particularly successful. Consumption of Kangshifu is now higher than the entire Russian soft drinks market.

Wahaha, Nongfushanquan and Uni-President are three other Chinese brands that have seen strong growth. Nongfushanquan registered stunning growth over the last few years, growing 30 per cent a year since 2008, and now ranks 16th in the top 20 global soft drinks line-up. In its local market, Nongfushanquan is perceived as being a good quality product, with a strong brand image for its packaged water, according to Canadean.

Uni-President also saw robust growth year-on-year with its milk iced tea product currently very popular with younger consumers. Wahaha also developed rapidly, helped by the Company’s strong distribution network — brand volume is now greater than the total UK carbonates market.

Nestle water benefits from Asian markets expansion

Canadean said Nestle Pure Life packaged water was another brand to watch in the soft drinks category.

The major country for Nestle Pure Life was still the US, where it leads the packaged water market due to its affordable price and national availability. However, Canadean found Nestle Pure Life was also benefitting from the expansion of its coverage in emerging markets, including China and Indonesia.