New product developments in the global soft drink markets were driven in 2012 by manufacturers' desire to add value to their products across developed and emerging markets alike.
Key drivers for these products included the continued demand for beverage functionality, the consumer search for "healthier" soft drinks, and the expansion of both exotic and traditional flavours.
Whether a soft drink manufacturer is a global conglomerate, such as Coca-Cola or PepsiCo, or a local manufacturer with distribution across only a handful of small grocers, new soft drink products have sought to provide consumers with added value.
This value can come from a well-established brand coming to a market for the first time, or a traditional home beverage now being packaged for convenience.
Developed markets in North America and Western Europe are seeing the premiumisation of new products, while emerging markets focus on products for consumers who are still moving from home-made beverages to packaged soft drinks, by using familiar flavours and formulations.
The dominant developed soft drink markets, such as the US, Japan, Germany and the UK, are all countries where consumers view packaged beverages as an everyday part of life.
However, over the next five years, a slew of new faces will lead value growth. The obvious examples are China, Brazil and India, but the potential for growth in Indonesia, Nigeria, Venezuela, and Colombia should not be overlooked.
Bottled water, carbonates and juices are staple soft drink categories, historically leading others in volume terms. However, the growth of RTD teas and sports and energy drinks continues to drive new product innovation.
Manufacturers of staple product are seeking to emulate the success of these growing categories by incorporating functionality or marketing the naturally healthy properties of their beverages.
Consumer demand for healthier soft drinks is at an all time high, amidst concerns regarding the links between obesity and soft drinks. This has hit reduced sugar carbonates especially hard, as many consumers are eschewing even diet drinks for other beverages. Within naturally healthy drinks, premiumisation presents a new opportunity.
For more information on the global soft drinks market, see the latest research: Global Soft Drinks Market
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