Fizzy heights for French soft drinks

Related tags Soft drinks Coca-cola

French soft drinks sales will undoubtedly be boosted this year by
the summer heat wave, but a recent report shows that there was
plenty of growth in the market even before the hot summer.

The hot summer weather which affected most of western Europe in July and August clearly gave a major boost to sales of soft drinks during that time - but in France, at least, the soft drink sector was faring very well even before the heat wave.

A recent report from French market research group Xerfi​ predicts that the steady growth in sales of fruit juice and soft drinks will continue throughout 2003 and 2004, with this summer's hot weather simply accelerating the pace a little.

The increase in sales for 2003 and 2004 is likely to be between 6 per cent and 7. 5 per cent, Xerfi said, fuelled by a stable domestic market and continued product launches.

French soft drink consumption is in fact lower than most other markets in western Europe, which means that many of the major producers have been targeting the market in a bid to strengthen their positions there - Cadbury Schweppes' acquisition of Orangina (from Pernod Ricard) being a prime example.

But there is also growth via product diversification, with the likes of Coca-Cola and Cadbury Schweppes also moving rapidly into the mineral water sector, traditionally one of the strongest in the French soft drinks market.

Xerfi suggests that soft drinks volumes will reach a peak of 22 million hl in 2004, driven by the large number of product launches this year - including Coca-Cola Light Lemon, Pepsi Twist, Sunny Delight Citron Sorbet, Orangina Light, Oasis Light, Fanta Green Melon and Lime, Sprite Ice Cube.

Cola will continue to dominate the market, however, accounting for 55 per cent of value sales, although it will lose a little ground in volume terms (-0.8 per cent). Tea-based drinks are likely to continue their rapid advance up the rankings - in 2002, this was the fastest growing category in the soft drinks market, with volumes rising 3.9 per cent. Tea drinks currently account for around 9 per cent of the market by value and 7 per cent by volume.

Fruit-flavoured carbonates are the second largest sector, with around 17 per cent of the market by value and 15 per cent by volume, followed by still fruit drinks with 8 per cent and 9 per cent respectively. Lemon/lime flavours are next with around 5 per cent of the market by value and 7 per cent by volume, while tonic water accounts for some 4 per cent by volume and 5 per cent by value.

For more details of Xerfi's reports, click here​.

Related topics Markets Soft drinks

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