Comment - Soft Drinks & Water - A Bit of Corbett
By: Richard Corbett
Each month, Richard Corbett casts his eye over the soft drinks & water categories.
The seasonal festivities tend to give way to a period of ideas, hopes and plans. In Europe, the soft drinks industry is looking to formulate its strategies for the coming year. Before that, Richard Corbett considers last year's soft drinks and water NPD in the region, and picks his favourite.
A decade ago, West Europe accounted for nearly four in every ten litres of packaged water sold globally, according to Canadean. By the end of last year, that had shrunk to little more than a fifth. While the global market for packaged water has jumped by 75%, the West European market has managed to creep up by just 4% in the last ten years and 2014’s West European sales remain below that of their 2006 high water mark, when much of Europe basked in tropical weather conditions.
Coconut water has been drunk in parts of the world for thousands of years but, with the exception of Robinson Crusoe and maybe a few others, the concept is still relatively new among European consumers.
Here in the UK, the swifts, swallows and housemartins have packed up and are making their way back to Africa signalling the end of another summer in Europe. As we enter the autumn of the year we are now well placed to identify the trends in place in West Europe that will define the year from the perspective of the soft drinks industry.
The theory goes that, as times grew tighter, private label companies were well-placed to reap the harvest. Cott Corp, however, showed that this was not as straightforward a theory as one would believe. Richard Corbett looks at how the company has performed and what it has done to turn around its fortunes.
The soft drinks industry has responded with some ire to a study from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Boston, US.
The concept of a drink that can give you an instant hit of energy was always going to be a winning formula.
I recall the story of a well-known racehorse trainer, out on his gallops one spring morning watching his string of horses when a rainbow appeared. One of the stable lads, riding a particularly well thought of horse, shouted across to the trainer telling him that if he looked behind the rainbow he would find a pot of gold. "You idiot" the trainer retorted back. "You don’t need to look behind a rainbow for a pot of gold. You’re sitting on one." I think that Nestle Waters has looked at its stable of brands and realised it too may already be sitting on its own pot of gold.
Will the next innovation in at-home carbonation prove to be the silver bullet for The Coca-Cola Co? Richard Corbett considers the prospects for the Keurig Kold.
This month, Richard Corbett looks at the Middle East, a region that offers a wealth of opportunities to the soft drinks and bottled water category.
Earlier this month, AG Barr announced its purchase of the cocktail and syrups producer, Funkin. Richard Corbett looks at the deal and considers the likelihood of success from Barr's Funkin move.
Richard Corbett takes his annual look back at the winners and losers in soft drink NPD last year.
Earlier this month, UK-based Fever-Tree launched an IPO, almost ten years after launching its namesake line of mixers. Richard Corbett believes both the company and its brand are firmly on the road to global success.
Bottled water appears to have been the biggest victim of the economic downturn, particularly in Western Europe. Richard Corbett takes a look at the prospects for one of the larger water players in the region, Nestlé.
The markets of Western Europe have long been the engine for soft drinks companies, generating steady returns and providing a dependable working environment. But, the global economic downturn has hit the region hard. Richard Corbett surveys the wreckage.
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