Global soft drinks market grows as key markets bounce back, Euromonitor

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 19th January 2015
Global soft drinks market grows as key markets bounce back, Euromonitor
Global soft drinks market grows as key markets bounce back, Euromonitor

Global soft drinks volumes expanded just over three percent in 2014, while value sales grew by more than six percent to reach US $867.4 billion dollars, according to market research organisation Euromonitor.

While the US remains the world’s largest market in both value and volume terms, markets such as China, Brazil and Mexico are fast closing the gap with continued strong growth. While global volume expansion has remained steady for several years, value growth accelerated in 2014, thanks to an improving outlook in key markets like Brazil.

Asia Pacific leader in soft drink volume expansion

On a regional level, Euromonitor said the Asia Pacific region and Middle East Africa were the runaway leaders in terms of volume expansion, up 6.9 per cent and 8.7 per cent, respectively, in 2014.

Going forward, Euromonitor said these two regions would continue to drive overall volume growth, although “vast investments” would be necessary to take meaningful share in markets like India, Nigeria, or Indonesia.

‘Healthy and functional’ drinks lead the way

Continuing a trend seen over the last decade, healthy and functional products led the way at the global level, with energy drinks and bottled water the top performers, expanding 9.8 per cent and 6.1 per cent respectively.

In line with this trend, Australian Food News reported in September 2014 that US consumers were embracing carbonated water and moving away from more traditional soft drinks. Australian Food News also reported in September 2014 that coconut water was predicted to be the beverage to watch, with drinks containing coconut water on the rise, and marketers promoting the drinks on an ‘all-natural’ and ‘healthy’ platform.

Carbonates and juice falling behind

Worryingly for the largest global players, top categories such as carbonates and juice lagged behind amidst growing consumer concerns about sugar content, price, and artificial flavourings.

“The largest soft drinks players face two key challenges at the global level—driving meaningful value expansion in the largest developed markets while continuing to invest in distribution capacity in the frontier markets of tomorrow,” said Michael Schaefer, Euromonitor International’s Head of Beverage Research.

“At the same time, consumer tastes are changing. While carbonated soft drinks will continue to drive traffic and branding, demand is growing in every market for more customized, unique, healthier options,” Mr Schaefer said.

Bottled water growth in Australia

Euromonitor said bottled water experienced 8.4 per cent growth. Australians consumed 24.9 litres of bottled water per capita in 2014.

Soft drinks see some growth in Australia

Euromonitor said the soft drinks segment grew 1 per cent in volume terms in Australia in 2014.

This included carbonates (fizzy drinks), concentrates (cordials), ready-to-drink (RTD) tea and coffee, sports and energy drinks, bottled water and juice.

The largest category, carbonates, declined by -0.7 per cent in volume terms, while RTD tea (i.e. ice tea), although the smallest category in volume terms, experienced the highest growth in Australia at 9.2 per cent in 2014.