Fruit Juice Australia News
Health drive lifting UK soft drinks
Thu 05 July 2007
By Neil Merrett
3/07/2007 - Carbonated beverage sales may slowly be going flat within the British soft drinks industry, but they still continue to dominate the market with a 41.8 per cent share according to consumer analyst Zenith International.
Though carbonated drinks continue to dominate sales, a shifting consumer focus towards healthier beverages has led to a 3.6 per cent increase in volume growth, Zenith said in its 2007 UK soft drinks report.
Total soft drinks sales reached ₤12.8bn (€18.9bn) in 2006 as total consumption as total consumption rose to 14.3bn litres.
As a result, a growing number of manufacturers are looking at greater innovation in the production of healthier and functional beverages in a bid to remain competitive.
According to Zenith's research director Gary Roethenbaugh the pattern is already prevalent within the UK marketplace.
"Nature, health and wellbeing are now the key dynamics for consumption growth," he stated. "Smoothies, chilled juice, still juice drinks and bottled water had the greatest momentum in 2006."
The market had clearly moved away from added sugar beverages, that now account for just 39 per cent of soft drinks sales compared to 72 per cent twenty years ago, Zenith said.
Meanwhile sales of products like smoothies rose 58 per cent and natural fruit juices were up 26 per cent in 2006 compared to 2005.
Functional beverages that boast health and wellness benefits are also expected to profit from this growing consumer demand, especially products that contain so called "superfruits".
Nonetheless the health and wellness segments still remain behind other products such as dilutables in ready to drink form and bottled water in terms of market share. Dilutables has a 23.4 per cent share of the UK beverage market and bottled water a 15.9 per cent share.
Fruit juice and nectars currently represent 11.1 per cent of sales, trailed by still drinks with 7.9 per cent.
If production continues to turn towards low sugar, low calorie beverages as expected, Zenith believes that consumption of UK soft drinks could reach 16bn litres by 2011.
The report was compiled in conjunction with the British Soft Drinks Association (BSDA).
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