U.S. refreshment beverage market up 1.3% in 2007

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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NEW YORK — The U.S. refreshment beverage market grew 1.3% in 2007 with newer beverage categories contributing to this growth, according to the Beverage Marketing Corp. (B.M.C.).

Carbonated soft drinks might still be the most popular category in terms of volume, but innovative new products are changing the beverage landscape, according to the B.M.C.

Specifically, energy drinks, bottled water, ready-to-drink teas and enhanced or functional beverages have seen notable growth rates while more traditional products have fallen behind.

"One size does not fit all in today’s beverage marketplace," said Michael C. Bellas, chairman and chief executive officer of the B.M.C. "Consumers now want different beverages at different times and for different reasons, whether it’s an energy boost during the work day or reinvigoration after a work out. Functional and enhanced beverages are growing considerably faster than conventional refreshment beverages and will continue to do so moving forward."

The top liquid refreshment brands in 2007 were Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Dr Pepper, Gatorade, Sprite, Tropicana, Aquafina, Dasani and Minute Maid. Coca-Cola had 15.2% market share, and these top brands represented 47.7% of total market share, down from 49.2% in 2006. The top beverage companies for the year were PepsiCo, Coca-Cola and Cadbury Schweppes.

Bottled water continued to grow but at a slower pace compared with previous years, and the energy drink segment outperformed all other segments. Bottled water excluding flavored and enhanced varieties remained strong in its position as the No. 2 beverage category with more than 8.8 billion gallons in volume in 2007. Overall, the top beverage segment was carbonated soft drinks, followed by bottled water, fruit beverages, sports drinks, R.-T.-D. tea, flavored and enhanced water, energy drinks and R.-T.-D. coffee.

The B.M.C. also noted boundaries between beverage categories have been blurred as flavored and enhanced waters have elements of bottled water with features of energy drinks and fortified fruit juices. Also, the difference between carbonated and non-carbonated beverages seems to have lost meaning with consumers.

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