Comment - Soft Drinks & Water - A Bit of Corbett
By: Richard Corbett
Each month, Richard Corbett casts his eye over the soft drinks & water categories.
A mild start to the year in many West European markets, coupled with an earlier Easter, looks to have aided the fortunes of the region’s soft drinks category in the first quarter of 2016. In its soon-to-be published Quarterly Beverage Tracker, Canadean is set to predict a marginal increase in soft drinks demand in the year so far.
Like all mega takeover deals, Ball Corp's purchase of fellow can maker Rexam has been a long, drawn-out process. It was way back in February last year that the US$6.6bn agreement was first announced, and yet it took nearly a year to get the blessing of the European Commission.
Soft drinks marketers are always scratching their heads trying to establish new refreshment occasions for their drinks to exploit. Sometimes, these opportunities can be found in the most extraordinary channels. In Southern India, for example, salons have proved to be a surprise outlet for lemon & lime drinks like Sprite or 7 Up.
This month, Richard Corbett considers the impact of a sugar tax on the UK CSD market.
This month, Richard Corbett considers whether low-/no-alcohol beer could eat into soft drinks' share of throat.
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.
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