Warmer weather and a growing propensity for healthy hydration helped the category over the quarter. Meanwhile, energy drinks, sports drinks and iced/RTD tea and coffee also performed well across the continent over the quarter.
Looking forward, soft drinks will be a good provider of incremental volume, predicts Canadean, as will beer in West Europe. These categories will be boosted by the European football championships and the Olympics.
Canadean’s quarterly beverage tracker saw both West and East Europe record flat performances compared to the same quarter in 2015.
Canadean says the first quarter of the year was a disappointing one for Europe’s commercial beverage market, but believes confidence in the sector is rising.
“While not all of the economic news is positive, there are signs that some of the major European beverage markets are in more reassuring territory, with improving GDP growth projections, falling unemployment levels, and low interest rates raising consumer confidence and making for a more favourable spending environment,” said Canadean.
“In East Europe, however, the ongoing economic and political upheaval in Russia and Ukraine has served to depress the regional average growth in beverage consumption, with Turkey’s muted performance also contributing as its economy and important tourism sector suffer from the latest violence.”
Canadean also notes the outcome of the UK’s referendum on EU membership, which is says “casts a shadow of uncertainty over West Europe as a whole and a vote to leave will bring some short term turbulence”.
Canadean notes increasingly aggressive pricing and promotional tactics across the quarter, such as sustained special offers and multi-pack promotions by brands.
“This dampened opportunities for private label, but it was noticeable that brand loyalty was weakest in categories with a more commodity image such as packaged water and juice,” said Antonella Reda, product development manager, Canadean.