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U.S. soft drinks market expected to grow in 2006.

After recording 3% volume growth in 2005 over 2004, the U.S. soft drinks market is forecast to grow by a further 2% to top a massive 105 billion liters this year, according to market analysts Canadean.

In its 2006 USA Soft Drinks Report, Canadean says that industry growth in 2006 will come from the dynamic bottled water, nectars, iced and ready-to-drink tea and sports drinks segments.

It was a similar story in 2005, when an extra three billion liters of non-alcoholic drinks were drunk by U.S. consumers. With carbonates volumes falling by 1.5%, last year's growth was generated predominantly by packaged water (+11%), but also sports drinks (+500 million liters), iced tea (+300 ml) and energy drinks (+250 ml).

The bottled water segment has benefited not only from its healthy image but also from the efforts of multinational players Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo to expand distribution through their existing networks, believes Canadean. The products of both companies are now present in the vast majority of sales outlets, both on and off premise. Nestle remains outright market leader, however, thanks to a large portfolio and a highly sophisticated distribution network.

Bottled water has taken market share from carbonated soft drinks and namely cola but manufacturers most notably of the latter have been attempting to revive sales through the development of new flavor variants and low-calorie alternatives. Canadean warns that carbonates must up their game further, however, if they are to be able to withstand the challenges of obesity, marketing to children and the sales ban in primary schools, in addition to growing competition from other segments.
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Publication:Food & Drink Weekly
Date:Oct 9, 2006
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