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. 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.
On a regional level, Asia Pacific and Middle East Africa were the runaway leaders in terms of volume expansion, up 6.9% and 8.7%, respectively, in 2014. Going forward, these two regions will continue to drive overall volume growth, yet vast investments will be necessary to take meaningful share in markets like India, Nigeria, or Indonesia.
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% and 6.1%, respectively. 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 Euromonitor International’s Head of Beverage Research, Michael Schaefer. “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.”