The Japanese soft drinks market is shrinking according to data released today. Japanese figures show that it will reach ¥4,922.5 billion in 2003, down ¥200m from last year.

The research company Fuji Keizai said that a new drink featuring amino acids is expanding, along with gains in mineral water and sports drinks.

But a decline in the overall market will be registered as demand for sugar-free tea drinks, which have been a driving force in recent years, is levelling off.

Fuji Keizai said that the market for sugar-free tea drinks was close to saturation. However, the market has increase 22.9% since 1999.

The amino acid drink market could reach ¥75.6 billion yen in 2003. Meanwhile the sports drinks sector will reach ¥373.5 billion, up 36.3% from 1999, Fuji Keizai said. Mineral water sales will reach ¥153.3 billion, up 33.3% from 1999, it said.