Liquid refreshment market grew nearly 1% in 2011

by Staff
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NEW YORK — The U.S. liquid refreshment beverage market grew 0.9% in 2011, marking the second consecutive year of growth but a slowdown from 2010, according to Beverage Marketing Corp. Premium beverages such as ready-to-drink teas and coffee, sports beverages and energy drinks did especially well in 2011.

“Beverages continued growth in 2011 proved their essential vitality,” said Michael C. Bellas, chairman and chief executive officer. “The strong showing by high-end and functional products shows that consumers — at least the more affluent ones — are not concerned exclusively with economic considerations when making their beverage selections.”

More established segments such as carbonated soft drinks and fruit beverages failed to grow during the year.

The weak economy in 2008 and 2009 prevented industry growth. Improving economic conditions contributed to increases in 2010 and 2011, but higher prices played a role in slower growth in 2011 as opposed to 2010.

Energy drinks are growing faster than other segments with a 14.4% volume increase in 2011. Despite the growth, the segment still had a small share of total liquid refreshment beverage volume with only r.-t.-d. coffee having a smaller volume share. No energy drink or r.-t.-d. coffee brand was among the leading trademarks by volume.

While carbonated soft drinks were still the biggest liquid refreshment beverage category, they continued to lose volume and market share. Carbonated soft drinks lost 2.7% in volume from 2010 to 2011, which reduced the category’s overall market share from 47% to 46%.

Four companies — PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Nestle Waters North America and Dr Pepper Snapple Group — represented all the leading refreshment beverage trademarks.

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