Varying fortunes for Brazil, Russia, India and China in the global economic downturn have not dented drinks firms' commitment to the 'big four' emerging markets, according to a report.

Both alcoholic and soft drinks sectors are set for "healthy volume rises" in 2009 in China and India, with sales also set to increase by an average 2% in Brazil, according to the Quarterly Beverage Tracker run by global drinks market consultancy group Canadean.

Drinks producers have had a tougher time in Russia, which has been more acutely damaged by the economic downturn, and specifically by a fall in global demand for oil.

Drinks sales are expected to fall 2% by volume in Russia for 2009, including an 11% projected slip in soft drinks sales, said Canadean.

Separately, most major brewers operating in the country are expecting mid-single digit volume sales declines for the year.

"Despite the deterioration in the global economic environment there is still plenty of optimism that the [so-called] BRIC markets will realise their undoubted potential in the longer term, even the worst affected of the four - Russia," said Canadean.

PepsiCo and its bottler, Pepsi Bottling Group, recently announced a plan to invest US$1bn in Russia over three years.