Consumption of soft drinks is projected to increase through to 2011, according to new findings from Datamonitor.
Consumers in the UK had 2.3 soft drink occasions per person per day in 2006, and this is projected to grow quicker than for Europe as a whole and the US, to reach 2.9 occasions by 2011.
When it comes to choosing soft drinks, consumers in Europe and the US are increasingly opting for healthier soft drink choices.
“Greater consumer knowledge on the importance of hydration, maintaining a healthy diet and an awareness of nutritional needs, together with a growth in scepticism towards sugared carbonates are all contributing to a dynamic soft drink market," says Matthew Jones, consumer market analyst and author of the study.
In the UK, carbonate consumption is forecast to decline as a proportion of total soft drink consumption, from 61% to 50% by 2011.
In contrast, Datamonitor forecasts juices to grow from 16% to 22%, whilst bottled water is forecast to increase from 19% to 24% over the same period. The same trend is evident in Europe and the US overall, with carbonates set to decline from 50% of overall soft drink consumption in 2006, to 45% in 2011.
Consumers’ hot drink consumption is increasingly characterised by a trend toward premium products, particularly in the US. The growth of coffee shops has meant consumers are increasingly drinking higher quality coffee, and are willing to pay more money for it.
UK consumers are some of the biggest consumers of hot drinks in Europe, behind Sweden and the Netherlands. UK consumers had on average 3.7 hot drinks per person per day in 2006, compared to 3.2 in Europe as a whole, and 1.8 in the US.
UK consumers’ hot drinks choices are still dominated by tea, in contrast to Europe as a whole, which is dominated by coffee.
Datamonitor expects the consumption share of tea as a proportion of hot drinks to decline from 64% to 62% between 2006 and 2011, as UK consumers increasingly switch to coffee.
In the US, tea is forecast to grow its share and has successfully capitalized on the health trend. Tea marketers have been successful in linking the product with its antioxidant content, with both ready to drink teas and specialty blends having enjoyed growth there.
“The competition for share is intensifying and it is important for drinks marketers to look beyond rival brands and look at drinks at the category level”, says Jones.
“Conflicting consumer demands mean that it is imperative for marketers to target specific hot and soft drink occasions, in order to grow consumption."
He adds, "Due to legislation preventing sugared carbonates in schools in the US and Europe, developing products that incorporate healthy ingredients and lower sugar levels will be essential to maintaining market share.”
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