Carbonated soft drink sales set to rebound in 2010

by Eric Schroeder
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BASINGSTOKE , ENGLAND — The global market for carbonated soft drinks (C.S.D.) is expected to bounce back in 2010 after several years of slower sales growth, according to “Global Carbonates Report,” a study published by Canadean Ltd., a global beverage research company.

According to the report, the global market for C.S.D. grew at a 1.4% clip in 2008, down sharply from 3% growth in 2007. The slow growth has continued into 2009, according to Canadean, but it is expected to accelerate as the global market emerges from what have been difficult economic conditions.

Worldwide per capita consumption of C.S.D. totaled 31 liters per person (68.2 lbs) in 2008, led by North America, which had per capita consumption of 157 liters (345.4 lbs). Despite its standing as the leading per capita market, North America has fallen from the top spot in terms of sales, according to Canadean.

North American sales are expected to fall nearly 6% between the end of 2008 and 2012, with wider declines expected beyond 2012. By comparison, new market leader Latin America is expected to expand sales by 9% during 2008-12, which equates to nearly 5 billion liters (11 billion lbs), according to Canadean.

In addition to Latin America, Asia is expected to play an important role in the future development of C.S.D. The region is expected to contribute an extra 9 billion liters (19.8 billion lbs) to the category in the next five years. The Middle East & North Africa also will play a large part in the growth, with expected growth of nearly 30%.

“The reliance on the developing world to expand the category is reflected in the fact that the low-calorie segment is set to lose share to the regular segment in 2009,” Canadean said. “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% of total volume.”

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