01 February 2008, 15:28 PM
  • A new study has highlighted changing consumer demand for carbonates, juices and hot drinks

The report by independent analyst, Datamonitor, shows healthy products will be rocking the market for soft drinks in the next few years.

Consumers are increasingly choosing options that are good for them when it comes to non-alcoholic beverages. The report also anticipates that the public will have more opportunities to consume such products in the future – with the number of soft drink occasions per person, per day expected to grow from 2.3 to 2.9 by 2011.

Matthew Jones, consumer market analyst and author of the study, says, “Greater consumer knowledge of the importance of hydration and maintaining a healthy diet, together with a better awareness of nutritional needs and a growing scepticism towards sugared carbonates, are all contributing to a dynamic soft drink market.”

Predictions show that the dominance of carbonates on the total soft drink consumption will decline from 61% to 50% by 2011. In contrast, juices should see their market share go from 16% to 22%. Bottled water will experience a similar growth up to 22% from 19% over the same period.

As for hot drinks, the UK is still one of the world’s biggest consumers, behind Sweden and the Netherlands. Brits have on average 3.7 hot drink occasions per person, per day. Tea is still the beverage of choice with 64% of total consumption. However, this number will slightly fall over the coming years, as the public’s interest in coffee is growing. Datamonitor predicts an increase in demand for premium coffee.

As a result of evolving tastes, retailers will have to think carefully about their offer to increase sales. Mr Jones concludes, “The competition for share of throat is intensifying and it is important for marketers to look beyond rival brands and consider drinks at the category level instead. Conflicting consumer demands mean it is imperative to target specific hot and soft drink occasions, in order to grow consumption. Due to legislation preventing sugar carbonates in school in the US and Europe, developing products that incorporate healthy ingredients and lower sugar levels will be essential to maintaining market share.”