just-drinks authors and correspondents
Richard Corbett has worked in the drinks industry for 13 years, ten of which were spent researching for Beverage Research Specialist Canadean. He has been the market analyst with Soft Drinks International since early-2004.
Columns by Richard Corbett
Each month, Richard Corbett casts his eye over the soft drinks & water categories.
Articles by Richard Corbett
At the turn of the century, Britvic paid what many considered at the time to be an awful lot of money for Orchid Drinks. The company made drinks for grown-ups - or, as they are more often known, adult soft drinks.
A mild start to the year in many West European markets, coupled with an earlier Easter, looks to have aided the fortunes of the region’s soft drinks category in the first quarter of 2016. In its soon-to-be published Quarterly Beverage Tracker, Canadean is set to predict a marginal increase in soft drinks demand in the year so far.
Like all mega takeover deals, Ball Corp's purchase of fellow can maker Rexam has been a long, drawn-out process. It was way back in February last year that the US$6.6bn agreement was first announced, and yet it took nearly a year to get the blessing of the European Commission.
Soft drinks marketers are always scratching their heads trying to establish new refreshment occasions for their drinks to exploit. Sometimes, these opportunities can be found in the most extraordinary channels. In Southern India, for example, salons have proved to be a surprise outlet for lemon & lime drinks like Sprite or 7 Up.
This month, Richard Corbett considers the impact of a sugar tax on the UK CSD market.
This month, Richard Corbett considers whether low-/no-alcohol beer could eat into soft drinks' share of throat.
The seasonal festivities tend to give way to a period of ideas, hopes and plans. In Europe, the soft drinks industry is looking to formulate its strategies for the coming year. Before that, Richard Corbett considers last year's soft drinks and water NPD in the region, and picks his favourite.
A decade ago, West Europe accounted for nearly four in every ten litres of packaged water sold globally, according to Canadean. By the end of last year, that had shrunk to little more than a fifth. While the global market for packaged water has jumped by 75%, the West European market has managed to creep up by just 4% in the last ten years and 2014’s West European sales remain below that of their 2006 high water mark, when much of Europe basked in tropical weather conditions.
Coconut water has been drunk in parts of the world for thousands of years but, with the exception of Robinson Crusoe and maybe a few others, the concept is still relatively new among European consumers.
Here in the UK, the swifts, swallows and housemartins have packed up and are making their way back to Africa signalling the end of another summer in Europe. As we enter the autumn of the year we are now well placed to identify the trends in place in West Europe that will define the year from the perspective of the soft drinks industry.
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