Sales of soft drinks in Chile in the first quarter of 2005 reached 491m litres, according to the Asociacion Nacional de Bebidas Refrescantes, Chile's national soft drinks association. The figure is a historic record, beating the same period last year by 8.5%.
 
This sales growth is largely the result of the stronger Chilean economy boosting individual spending, the industry believes.
 
Despite the improved sales, however, margins are falling as a result of higher basic costs. The cost of electricity has risen sharply, while packaging costs are also on the increase.
 
Chilean drinks companies currently remain reluctant to pass the higher costs on to consumers, as a high level of competition makes them fearful of losing market share.