In 2012, sales within the Canadian carbonates market remained relatively flat in both volume and value terms. Dollar sales recorded a marginal decrease, reaching C$2.8 billion while volume remained unchanged at 2.5 billion litres.
The on-going influence of the health and wellness trend continued to dampen consumer demand for soft drinks in Canada, and with constant media buzz surrounding rising obesity rates and other chronic illnesses being strongly linked to consumption of carbonates, the industry struggled to regain its share of consumer spending.
Amidst flat at best consumption and growing pressure for greater industry regulation supported by an array of research findings, such as taxation on soft drinks proposed by the Quebec Coalition on Weight-Related Problems, the carbonates industry in Canada has taken considerable steps to reassure Canadians of its commitment to responsible marketing and healthy lifestyle by, for example, reducing the amount of full-calorie beverages in the marketplace by 25%, limiting marketing to children and introducing smaller-portion options in schools.
On the business side, manufacturers have invested heavily behind the low-calorie category. For instance, Pepsi-Cola aired a 30-second TV advertisement for its zero-calorie Pepsi MAX cola carbonate on the Canadian broadcast of Super Bowl XLVI in February 2012 in an effort to revive demand for the largely unpopular product that failed to resonate with consumers when it first launched in 2008.
Perhaps the most significant step taken by the industry in 2012 was the "Clear on Calories" initiative, a voluntary, national industry initiative that began in mid-2011 to put calorie information on the front of the beverage package, making it easier for consumers to know how many calories they were consuming per serving (591ml), helping them to make informed decisions.
Within foodservice, sales of carbonates continued to fall by 2%, reaching 769 million litres consumed in 2012. Despite improved foodservice traffic, beverage consumption continued to shift away from carbonates with more Canadians opting for drinks that contain less sugar and fewer calories.
The carbonates category in Canada is predominantly led by Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola, which together accounted for 63% of retail value sales in 2012. Coca-Cola led with a 37% value share thanks to its long history of brand recognition ranking it amongst the highest of all trademarks.
For more information on the Canadian carbonates market, see the latest research: Canadian Carbonates Market
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