Go east with sugar and fizz, drinks makers told

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Soft drinks Soft drink Coca-cola Canadean

Easterly emerging markets have continued to stop the rot for
regular carbonated soft drinks as western consumers increasingly
turn to diet versions and water, a new report says.

"Exciting"​ markets in Asia and Eastern Europe are expected to have seen sales of regular carbonates rise six per cent last year, says the report by Canadean​, an international beverage research group.

It is a rare piece of positive analysis for carbonated soft drinks, which made up half of all soft drinks consumed in 1998 but now account for around 40 per cent and the figure is still falling.

Several soft drinks firms, and notably Britvic in the UK last spring, have struggled to keep pace with the consumer shift.

But, Canadean's report predicts that buoyant sales in the east, together with the rising popularity of diet fizzy drinks in mature western markets, will see carbonated drinks sales increase two per cent up to 2009.

Diet drinks now account for one in every seven litres of fizzy drinks sold worldwide, the report estimates.

Brands like Coca-Cola Zero, a no-calorie drink launched with heavy marketing in the UK last year, have kept fizzy drinks acceptable to weight-conscious consumers unhappy at the sugar content in regular versions.

In North America, considered the spiritual home of carbonated soft drinks, low calorie products make up nearly 30 per cent of fizzy drink sales, Canadean reports. Both Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have also seen strong growth in Australasia.

Diet fizzy drinks have not played out so well in emerging markets, however.

Canadean figures show the diet segment has lost market share in the fast-growing Asian soft drinks market over the last two years, and accounts for less than two per cent of volumes.

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