Variety remained a key market trend in the global soft drinks market during 2012, with consumer demand fuelling growth across a wide array of categories. Energy drinks led the way in both value and volume growth terms, reflecting a growing versatility on the part of energy drinks manufacturers. Some of the best-performing products were those which drove new usage occasions, with Kraft's Mio reigniting the liquid concentrates category in the US, while energy drinks players were able to market products to everyone from club-goers in Western Europe to manual labourers in Indonesia.
While value growth has consistently outpaced global volume growth in current terms, much of this is due to inflation. When viewed in real terms, however, volume growth is well in front, reflecting an enormous shift in growth to emerging markets, where prices are obviously lower, as well as a strong move away from carbonates in developed markets and towards lower-priced bottled water. Though functional beverages have the potential to drive stronger value growth going forward, overall volumes remain low, while continuing economic turmoil in regions like Western Europe augurs continuing consumer thrift in high-income markets.
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