Sales of bottled water bounced back in 2009

Sales of bottled water bounced back in 2009

Health and ‘five-a-day’ awareness is expected to boost consumption in the UK soft drinks category going forward, according to Zenith International.

Speaking at yesterday’s (13 May) UK Soft Drinks Industry Conference, Victoria Milne, senior analyst for the food and drink consultancy, said the industry should expect a boost in consumption in “Olympic Games year” 2012.

“One of the biggest market challenges has been the recession,” Milne said. “Consumer confidence has improved year-on-year but the weather has also had a major effect on the industry,” she told attendees.

However, she added: “The trend has moved towards healthy refreshment drinks as consumers look for taste and refreshment but also drinks that are good for you.

“We should expect a boost in consumption in 2012 with it being the Olympic year. Health and five-a-day awareness should boost the category going forward,” Milne said.

Over the last ten years, soft drinks in the UK have experienced steady growth, with 2009 consumption growing by 17%, exceeding expectations.

However, the analyst said that CSD’s had experienced a decline in market share from 47.2% in 2004 to 42.9% in 2009. All other sectors gained share, while bottled water in particular bounced back, Milne said.

“Up to 2003, the category had very strong growth and from 2007 an anti-bottled water media frenzy and poor weather conditions had an effect," she added. "But the sector grew by 1.7% in 2009, which exceeded expectations.

“We have forecast very cautiously for 2010, with it being election year and taking into account consumer purchasing power, but we are expecting a boost in consumption in 2012,” Milne said.