Improved trends for both carbonated and non-carbonated beverages are predicted for soft drinks firms in 2011

Improved trends for both carbonated and non-carbonated beverages are predicted for soft drinks firms in 2011

Rating agency Standard & Poor's has forecast further growth for US soft drinks firms in 2011 as they benefit from pricing gains, new product contributions and restructuring.

Standard & Poor said on Saturday (19 February) that earnings and cash flow for the major concentrate companies will have shown growth in 2010 and that a return to top-line growth in 2011 is inevitable as volumes stabilise.

The group added that steady volume trends will emerge over the next 12 months as companies increase marketing spend behind core brands and introduce new products.

"We see improved trends for both carbonated and non-carbonated beverages as the former benefits from trading down while the latter recovers from very easy comparisons," S&P said.

"For the longer term, we believe volume trends will benefit from increased penetration into non-traditional distribution channels and growing consumer demand for non-alcoholic products (soft drinks, ready-to-drink teas, juices, bottled water and sports drinks), which should continue to raise non-alcoholic beverage per-capita consumption levels."