Soft drinks continue to gain share of thecommercial beverage universe across West and East Europe, with packaged water a majordriving force. This trend is highlighted in the latest figures on commercial beverageconsumption in Europe, now available in The European Beverage Consumption Manual 2000,from Canadean Ltd, the leading international beverage research analysts.

Beverage consumption is far from uniformacross Europe and there is still a distinct East/West divide, primarily reflecting theeconomic differences between the two regions. Accordingly, there are some interestingobservations to be made when comparing East and West European markets. For example:

  • although no East European market ranks in the top 10 for total commercial beverage consumption, five East European countries (the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Croatia, Poland and Estonia) make it into the top 20 - all above the Greater European average
  • in growth terms, East European soft drinks consumption is outperforming that of West Europe: 8% versus 2%
  • per capita consumption of carbonates in the Czech Republic is more than twice that of France
  • Slovenia is the second biggest consumer in Europe of special products (mainly iced tea)
  • Belarus is ahead of the UK and hard on the heels of Ireland in terms of tea consumption
  • the world's leading beer consumers, the Czechs, drink nearly twice as much beer per head as the Dutch

However, in broad terms, commercialbeverage consumption is much less developed in East Europe than in the West (with theexception of the Mediterranean countries), reflecting the lower purchasing power ofconsumers.

For Greater Europe as a whole, averageconsumption of all beverages is over half way towards the theoretical saturation level of730 litres per head per year, with the Irish Republic, Austria and Denmark having alreadypassed the 700 litres mark. This figure is based on the broad assumption that the averagehuman body can comfortably drink two litres of liquid per day, including tap water.

It is important to note that just 12 litresper capita have been added to total consumption levels in the last 10 years (+43 litres inWest Europe; -26 litres in East Europe), and it is the shifts within the beverage mixwhich are particularly interesting

The latest figures highlight the major roleplayed by soft drinks, driven by packaged water, in the commercial beverage universe.Since 1994 all other market sectors have been declining, with the exception of hot drinkswhich has registered marginal growth.




% Change (CAGR)

Greater Europe

West Europe

East Europe

Greater Europe

West Europe

East Europe

Soft Drinks 4.1 4.3 1.5 3.4 2.3 8.0
Milk/Milk Drinks -2.9 -0.1 -8.0 -0.7 -0.4 -1.5
Hot Drinks -1.9 -0.3 -4.3 0.2 -0.4 0.9
Alcoholic Drinks -0.6 -0.4 -2.2 -0.1 -0.7 1.4
All Beverages -0.3 1.1 -3.9 0.9 0.5 1.9
  1989-94 1994-99

Change in Litres per Capita

Greater Europe West Europe East Europe Greater Europe West Europe East Europe
Soft Drinks 20.0 34.9 2.5 19.6 22.3 16.4
Milk/Milk Drinks -10.7 -0.4 -21.3 -2.3 -1.8 -3.0
Hot Drinks -12.1 -1.9 -22.8 1.1 -2.6 4.5
Alcoholic Drinks -2.8 -2.6 -5.1 -0.5 -4.5 3.2
All Beverages -5.6 29.9 -46.7 17.7 13.5 21.1
Source:  Canadean European Beverage Consumption Manual
  • Water and Carbonates are closing the gap with Beer in Greater Europe : per capita ratios are 1.1:1 and 1.2:1 respectively.
  • Consumption of Ice Tea, Sports and Energy drinks rose from virtual non-existence 10 years ago to 7 litres per capita in West Europe.
  • Hot drinks still dominate share of throat in East Europe but have been overtaken by soft drinks in Greater Europe where the per capita ratio is 1.1:1 in favour of soft drinks.

Canadean's European BeverageConsumption Manual (The Annual Manual - Europe) provides an annual overview of commercialbeverage consumption patterns across Europe. It is aimed at all those involved, whetherdirectly or indirectly, in the industry. Changing patterns of consumption not only affectmanufacturers of drinks, but also have an impact both upstream on suppliers of packaging,ingredients and other raw materials, and downstream on the intermediaries in the supplychain and retailers which serve the end consumer.

The Manual analyses trends in 34 countries,focusing on the 11 main commercial beverage categories (i.e. packaged water, carbonates,juice & nectars, fruit drinks & dilutables, special products (iced tea/sports& energy drinks), milk/milk drinks, tea, coffee, beer, wine, spirits) over a 10 yearperiod (1989-1999) in terms of per capita consumption.

Beverage consumption data in the Manual ispresented on three levels:

  • European averages (Greater Europe, West Europe and East Europe) and country rankings;
  • European overviews of each of the main commercial beverage categories, also showing in a convenient map form which countries are above and below the category averages;
  • detailed analyses of the various beverage categories in the 34 European countries, incorporating their "share of throat" in 1999 and compound annual growth rates over the past decade

For further information, please visit theCanadean website on or contact Ruxandra G Crow, Manager,Beverage Services on tel: +44 (0)1256 394239, email: