Danish young adults drink 52% more soft drinks than the average Danish consumer.

Young adults may be Denmark's biggest drinkers of carbonates, but Datamonitor's ConsumerGraphics database shows that there are other opportunities for soft drinks companies that wish to target them. They have developed a taste for functional beverages, and the fast growing market may be ready for some new entrants.

The Scandinavian soft drinks market is substantial, worth over US$5.1 billion in 2003, but Denmark stands out as the largest market in the region. Danes are the biggest spenders on soft drinks, spending an average of US$427 per head and the Danish market is also growing steadily, expected to grow from US$2.3 billion in 2003 to US$2.6 billion in 2008 - a 15% increase.

Young adults remain the most significant consumers for soft drinks marketers to target in the country. Consumers between the age of 15 and 24 years make up just 11.3% of the total Danish population, but the group accounts for 17.2% of all Danish soft drink consumption by value. Young adults spend more person than other age groups on all soft drinks apart from hot drinks.

However, in the bottled water category, there may well be an opportunity for drinks firm to target older consumers. Danes over 55 years consumed 24.9% of the country's bottled water market by value in 2003, by far the largest proportion of any demographic group.

However, this opportunity must be viewed in the context of the Danish bottled water segment's extremely limited growth. For the 2003-08 timeframe, this market is set to expand at an average annual growth rate of just 0.9%. This compares very poorly to nearby Norway for example, where the bottled water category is forecast to expand at 4.8% per annum to 2008.

One clear growth area in Danish soft drinks is functional beverages. This category is set to enjoy year on year growth of 4.9% to 2008 - clearly ahead of the next fastest growing segment, carbonates, with 2.9%. The 15-24 years group consumes the greatest proportion of the functional drinks category (28.3% in 2003). From this perspective, drinks players could do worse than push innovative energy drinks and smoothies to young Danes - it is a tactic that may well pay off.