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Consumers Thirsty For Soft Drinks, Healthy Drinks

Niche products such as sports drinks, health drinks and New Age drinks will be the fastest-growing subsector of the global soft drinks market as more time pressured and active consumers look for products to stimulate and benefit their health, says research firm Euromonitor.

Over 271 billion liters of soft drinks were sold worldwide in 1997, nearly 22 percent more than in 1993. North Americans have the highest per capita consumption of soft drinks in the world, drinking over 280 liters each in 1997 (or 0.8 liters per day). The popularity of consuming soft drinks in the United States, Mexico and Canada is migrating to South America, where per capita consumption rose by 35 percent between 1993 to 1997 to reach over 74 liters. Western Europeans also have the soft drink habit, consuming nearly 155 liters per person, or 0.4 liters per capita per day. Euromonitor also found the fastest-growing markets in recent years are: Brazil (84.95 liters per capita), Turkey (36.55), Russia (19.15) and China (4.45).

The popularity of mineral water remains undiminished. It was the fastest-growing sector after niche products between 1993 and 1997, gaining a following in North and South America, the traditional stronghold of carbonates. World consumption of mineral water rests at 9.84 liters per capita. Western Europe is the main consumer of mineral water, but it also has strong markets in Saudi Arabia and Indonesia. Looking ahead, Euromonitor forecasts that India (currently at 0.08 liters per capita) will have the most dynamic growth over the next few years at an expected rate of more than 200 percent.

In its survey, the data firm found Cola-Cola still dominates the world soft drinks market, holding over a quarter of volume sales with 28.1 percent of the market, well ahead of Pepsi, and far ahead of any other major producer. However, there is no room for complacency. Euromonitor's report says that the fluidity and competitiveness of the modern soft drinks market means that none of the world's major brands is invulnerable. Only those brands which can market the most effectively, acknowledging changing consumer lifestyles and demographics, will survive.

Between 1998 and 2002, the fastest-growing soft drinks subsectors will be energy healthy drinks, ready-to-drink tea and mineral waters. The success of the newer forms of soft drinks could be the reason behind the relative failure of both sparkling and flavored mineral waters to make much impression on the carbonated and flavored mainstream soft drinks markets. Several examples of emerging drinks in this category include SoBe's Eros brands which contain ginseng anti-oxidants, herbs, minerals and vitamins (purportedly enhancing the libido) or Fresh Samantha's fresh juice, namely Desperately Seeking C, a powerful combination of carrot and orange with a large amount of vitamin C added.
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Publication:Food & Drink Weekly
Article Type:Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 29, 1998
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