Tracking Flavour Preferences in Soft Drinks in the Americas

Read our report: Americas Soft Drinks Attributes: Flavours Q4

A key component underlying any market strategy is understanding consumer preferences and keeping track of any changes. With the accelerated growth of e-commerce as a go-to channel for consumers, online retailer data can paint a clearer picture of preferred product attributes. As a complement to custom consumer research, analysing online retail data of available SKUs, that has been organised and structured, can provide a strong and detailed indicator of key product characteristics important to consumers – in this case, the flavours of soft drinks.

The five leading soft drinks markets in the Americas – Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico and the US – all displayed similar taste preferences in the final quarter of 2020, according to our latest report ‘Americas Soft Drinks Attributes: Flavours Q4 2020’.

Fluctuating online price and product availability across the region

As might be expected, the US recorded the highest median unit prices by far, four times higher than the next highest prices recorded by Canada, and five to ten times higher than other geographies in the region. Despite ups and downs in weekly median price points over the final quarter of 2020, unit prices for available products online largely experienced stable to moderate changes in Brazil, Canada, Chile and the US. Stronger swings in Argentina and Mexico, in percentage terms, translated into relatively small absolute price changes.

Argentina, Chile and Mexico all experienced moderate to strong declines in available SKUs between 1st October 2020 and the end of the year. Canada remained stable, with the US and Brazil seeing significant changes in available SKUs over the final quarter.

Tracking flavours shows consumers have similar taste preferences

Despite having divergent price structures and changes in the final quarter of 2020, the leading markets in the Americas had comparable taste preferences, based on SKUs available online, among their top 2-3 flavours. However, the flavours of choice showed greater variation across the region when looking at the flavour profile beyond those top 2-3 flavours. Orange and apple flavours are a commonality among the leading 3 flavours across all markets (by SKU count), with lemon found among the top 5 flavours in most markets.

Country-specific differences are illustrated in the flavours ranked 5-10 by SKU count. For example, in Brazil, guarana and guava were unique flavours available online within the leading 10 flavours. Similarly, the US had cherry as a particular flavour in soft drinks compared to other Americas markets. The success of coconut flavoured soft drinks across the region is demonstrated in this being a top 10 ranked flavour in all markets except Argentina.

Top 10 soft drink flavours Q4 2020 in the Americas

A more granular analysis of the Brazilian market showed that the top 10 soft drink flavours in Q4 2020 accounted for almost half of all available flavours. Grape was the leading flavour by SKU count in Brazil, accounting for 14% of all available soft drink SKUs during Q4 2020, found among hundreds of SKUs. Coca-Cola is the leading supplier of grape soft drink SKUs in Brazil.

Strawberry and blueberry were flavours found among the highest priced SKUs on a per unit basis in addition to being the flavours with the fastest unit price growth over the final quarter of 2020.

With Euromonitor’s Via, you can utilise over 30 million online SKUs across 40 countries and 1,500 retailers to unlock key strategic and tactical insights for your organisation. For more information on the e-commerce data we capture using Via across other industries, countries, retailers and suppliers, as well as any questions relating to attribute tracking, please request a demonstration and read the full report  ‘Americas Soft Drinks Attributes: Flavours Q4 2020’.