The beverage industry information specialist, Canadean, in its recently published Global Carbonates report said that growth in the sector slowed significantly in 2008 with the rate dropping to 1.4 per cent from three per cent in 2007.
Nevertheless, carbonates still dominate the soft drinks sector and account for nearly four in every ten litres of soft drinks consumed around the world, and the market analysts are forecasting a boost for the market in 2010 as the economic slump lifts.
The carbonates market has reached maturity in certain parts of the developed world and it will be emerging markets that are the source of most of the future rises, adds the consultants.
The report reveals that Latin America has stolen the crown from North America in terms of volume and is now the leading market for carbonates. Furthermore, sales in North America are expected to shrink by nearly six per cent between the end of 2008 and 2012.
Canadean's Asian team expect the carbonates market in their region to expand by nearly a third. The Middle East & North Africa will not be far behind with growth of almost 30 per cent, they claim.
Of the other developing parts of the globe, East Europe appears to be set for a more prolonged period of correction and is only expected to return to growth in 2011, note the consultants.
The report highlights the fact that in less affluent markets, the sugar debate is less relevant and the demand for 'light' or 'diet' drinks is minimal:
“In more developed markets, the issue of obesity has had a high profile and the low calorie segment has played an important part in maintaining demand.
Today low calorie drinks make up 15 per cent of total volume.”
The consultants caution carbonate drink manufacturers that buoyant demand in developing countries will be somewhat mitigated by price.
“According to Canadean's Wisdom database, in North America a litre of carbonates is sold for an average of $1.72 while in neighbouring South America the same litre will trade for $1.12.”