Asian soft drinks consumption continues to rise, according to recent figures.

Citing one of its latest reports, research company Canadean said late last week that the region's contribution to world soft drinks consumption volumes has stretched from 17% at the beginning of the decade to an estimated 20% last year.

Canadean noted that the global market itself expanded by almost 30% over the same period.

The company predicted that packaged water is set to take the top spot in the region's soft drinks sector. "Packaged water continued to lead the Chinese soft drinks market last year in terms of size, although the market has not yet been fully developed with regards to brand loyalty, industry standards and consumer awareness," Canadean said.

"Focusing on future opportunities the key players are gearing up by developing infrastructures and distribution networks in order to gain leverage before a head to head brand war starts. This trend is coupled with anticipated stricter category standards that are likely to be implemented across the industry."

Despite the lowest per capita consumption of CSDs in the world, "the category has for a long time acted as the main component of (Asia's) soft drinks market, being responsible for over 30% of consumption at the start of the decade," Canadean noted.

China and Indonesia make up over half of Asia's packaged water consumption. China is also responsible for the largest volume of carbonates, juice, nectars and still drinks consumed in Asia.