Sales of Chilean soft drinks grew by 6.1% in the first three quarters of 2005, leaving the sector well placed for overall growth of between 5% and 6% this year, the National Soft Drinks Association (Anber) estimates.
 
The growth rate seen to September was the highest since 1997. This was driven in part by the launch of new products as well as by firmer domestic demand amid improved economic conditions.
 
Sales totalled 1.3bn litres in the nine-month period, Anber said, although a slight deceleration in demand in the third quarter was the result of unseasonably cold weather.
 
Chile's economic recovery is helping branded soft drinks to regain the ground they lost to cheaper unbranded products during the recent recession. Unbranded soft drinks now account for 12% of all sales, compared with 18% in 1998 at the height of Chile's recession.