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Juices and soft drinks

Soft drinks, the world's number one beverage.

Number one in the beverages segment ahead of bottled waters, the worldwide soft drinks market consumes some 392 billion litres and is growing by 5% per year. The United States remains the largest consumer with over 23% of sales in volume despite the market's maturity, followed by Latin America. China is enjoying the most spectacular growth with an annual increase of over 15%.

Fizzy drinks are top of the non-alcoholic soft drinks segment with 186 billion litres consumed yearly, although sales are beginning to stagnate in developed markets. Asian speciality drinks is currently the fastest growing segment at an annual rate in excess of 14%.

Reconciling pleasure and well-being

Something refreshing, or better still, thirst quenching; low in sugar, rich in taste and a source of energy is the ideal soft drink for today's consumer. More than ever, people want their drinks to be natural, light and healthy. In light of this trend, the borders between the various alcohol-free soft drink sectors are blurring.

Innovative products such as flavoured waters, low-calorie iced teas, 100% fruit-based low sugar drinks, mixtures of fruit juices and mineral waters are appearing. The major brands continue to enjoy the lion's share of the market thanks to the astute decision to extend product ranges, as was shown by the success of the flavoured Coca Cola lines. Indeed, taste is the other major priority of this sector, with brand owners constantly in search of unusual new flavours (kiwi and apple, lemon verbena, raspberry and grapefruit, green tea and melon, etc.).

The same is true of the fruit juice sector, which has focused on its healthy and natural origins, with particular emphasis on pure fruit juices and new varieties (red fruits, citrus cocktails, cranberry and pomegranate) becoming the priority for the premium brand owners.

Making the most of packaging

A crucial component of the marketing mix, packaging enables soft drinks to reinforce their contact with consumers and to adapt to new consumer modes: 20cl formats or 33cl cheer packs for children's satchels, 50cl PET bottles for hand bags, 3l fridge fountains or oval containers with wide tops for family breakfasts, 15cl cans for mixers. Unusual shapes combined with eye-catching graphics or strikingly simple packaging highlight brand image.

To satisfy the needs of the alcohol-free soft drinks sector, Sleever International has a range of solutions which combine shelf impact, sales promotion, consumer safety, easy opening, product protection, traceability and manufacturing optimisation have all been taken up by major players such as Coca-Cola, Grupo Leche Pascual, Orangina Schweppes and Leader Price (Casino Group).

Source Datamonitor, Canadean