Soft drink sales in Chile rose 2.4% in the third quarter of 2002 compared to the same period in 2001, according to information from the National Soft Drinks Association (Anber).

Sales by volume, including juices and mineral waters, totalled 351 million litres in the third quarter. Anber President Renato Ramírez attributed the sector's strong performance to a policy of realistic pricing and to new product launches.

Juices and juice-based drinks also increased sales by 7.2% over the same period, while mineral water sales rose 7.5%.

Despite improved sales, the soft drinks industry is suffering the effects of high sugar prices. The cost of sugar rose 14% in the third quarter of 2002, but the Chilean industry chose to absorb the costs rather than risk raising prices.