US: CSDs continue slowdown, as new lines continue growth
Newer beverage lines continue to drive growth in the US soft drink market, which enlarged by 1.3% in 2007, according to figures released this week.
The figures, from Beverage Marketing Corporation, showed that both carbonated soft and fruit beverage volume declined in 2007, down 2.6% and 3% respectively. However, several non-carbonated beverages experienced strong growth.
Flavoured and enhanced waters were the segment with the highest growth rate in 2007, up 30.6%, but energy drinks also registered double-digit percentage rate growth during the year, as did RTD tea, with growths of 24.7% and 15% respectively.
Bottled water (excluding flavoured and enhanced variants) further solidified its position as the number-two beverage category in the US market, with volume in excess of 8.8bn gallons in 2007.
"During the first several years of the 21st century, newer beverage categories have been principally responsible for what growth has occurred in the non-alcoholic marketplace, and this remained the case in 2007," said Beverage Marketing Corp.
"Energy drinks, bottled water, RTD teas and enhanced or functional beverages have seen significant - often astronomical - growth rates, while more established and familiar product types have languished. Although conventional CSDs remain the most popular category on a volume basis, an array of offerings representing innovation, variety and novelty have changed the face of the US beverage market in recent years."
CSD trademarks held four of the top ten positions in the rankings of categories by volume. Those brands were joined by two bottled water trademarks, two fruit beverage trademarks and one sports drink. The leading sports drink in the US now stands as the fifth biggest liquid refreshment beverage brand, and bottled water brands continue to raise their profiles, the report said.
Meanwhile, a look at individual companies and brands showed that total Pepsi liquid refreshment beverage volume was essentially unchanged in 2007. However, the non-carbonated portion of its profile rose by 4.2% during the year. Similarly, total Cadbury Schweppes dipped slightly as only non-carbs contributed upward movement. Coca-Cola's still beverage volume, bolstered by the acquisition of the Glaceau brands, was especially vibrant, up by 8%, while the sparkling segment followed the downward tendency set by CSDs generally.
The big companies have the leading refreshment beverage trademarks; Pepsi-Cola (with five brands), Coca-Cola (with four) and Cadbury Schweppes (with one) account for all of the top-ten trademarks. Aquafina and Gatorade (from Pepsi) and Dasani (from Coke) were the fastest growing leading trademarks, as they had been in the previous year as well. The Coca-Cola trademark, including all brand variations, held the top spot among liquid refreshment beverages. However, its volume, like the standard CSD market as a whole, declined.
"One size does not fit all in today's beverage marketplace," said Michael Bellas, chairman and CEO of Beverage Marketing Corporation. "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."
Several of the leading non-carbonated liquid refreshment beverages, all of which are owned by the major soft drink companies, enjoyed exceptionally strong growth in 2007.
Gatorade (including the new G2 line extension) grew modestly, but Propel, the enhanced water line associated with the trademark, enjoyed particularly forceful growth. Propel volume enlarged by 16%. Pepsi's Aquafina - the eighth largest liquid refreshment brand - increased at the same rate as the bottled water segment itself, 6.9%, while Coca-Cola's Dasani - the number-nine trademark - grew at an even faster rate, 8.5%.
Mountain Dew did not decline in 2007, making the Pepsi brand a rare exception among leading carbonated soft drinks. A Mountain Dew spin-off, the energy drink Amp, enlarged at an even faster clip than the fast-moving energy drink segment itself.
While energy drink volume swelled by almost 25%, Mountain Dew Amp advanced at a rate roughly three times quicker. Coca-Cola's Full Throttle also outperformed the energy drink segment in 2007.
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