Healthy soft drinks drive global beverage growth

By Anthony Fletcher

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Soft drinks Alcoholic beverage Zenith international Asia

Soft drink consumption is the principal factor behind the growth in
global drinks, with health playing an increasingly important role
in consumer choice.

Global drinks consumption rose by 2.5 per cent during 2005, according to the, Zenith International's online database.

The total volume consumed was 1.47 million million (trillion) litres, equivalent to 227 litres per person.

The rise in beverage sales was driven mainly by soft drinks, whose worldwide consumption increased by 3.9 per cent to 499 billion litres, equal to 77 litres per person.

But in the context of growing concern about obesity levels and greater public interest in health, it is interesting to note that the advance of soft drinks was led by better for you categories such as bottled water, fruit drinks and functional drinks.

This trend is expected to continue, with bottled water set to beat carbonated soft drinks by 2009 and still drinks fast approaching the combined volume of dilutables, nectars and fruit juices.

Around the globe, milk drinks and hot drinks remain major competitors for share of throat. But the popularity of soft drinks with children, alongside higher demand for bottled water and fruit juices amongst adults, has weakened the position of milk.

At the same time, more widespread preference for cold beverages, especially iced tea, is slowing down the pace of hot drinks.

Meanwhile, alcoholic drinks have experienced mixed fortunes in recent years, though overall growth rates have been fairly steady if modest. Alcohol has faced numerous changes in government taxation as well as a range of emerging new drinking habits.

The appearance of pre-mixed spirits, also known as flavoured alcoholic beverages, helped boost the spirits sector for a time, but these have now waned as fashions move on.

Other findings displayed on include the fact that tea is the world's most popular drink at 57 litres per person in 2005, followed by milk and carbonates.

Asia/Australasia has the highest regional share of world consumption at 34 per cent of the total in 2005. The regions influence is expected to grow, with volumes forecast to climb an extra 13 per cent by 2009.

"Asia contains over half the worlds population, but its consumption per person is less than one quarter that of North America,"​ said Zenith research director Gary Roethenbaugh.

"The region holds huge growth potential for those companies willing to invest there."

However, it is notable that East Europe achieved the greatest consumption growth per person, advancing by 69 litres per person over the last five years.

Zeniths database anticipates that total world consumption will pass 1.6 trillion litres in 2009, reflecting growth of 2.2 per cent a year. contains over 50,000 individual market figures. It provides a comprehensive analysis on 14 beverage categories across 75 profiled countries and 7 continental regions from 1999 to 2009, covering all hot drinks, milk drinks, soft drinks and alcoholic drinks.

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