The US soft drinks market is suffering from Americans scrutinising their beverage purchases more carefully, due to dual concerns regarding health and money.
Mere hydration is not enough, as tap water can serve that purpose with zero calories at no cost. Instead, consumers are looking for value-added benefits, such as energy, vitamins, customisable flavours and probiotic cultures.
As a result, energy drinks and liquid concentrates, such as Mio, performed strongly in 2012 by appealing to consumers‟ desire for energy and customisation. Conversely, carbonates and 100% juice as a whole struggled due to their high sugar and calorie content.
While Coca-Cola Co and PepsiCo remained the dominant players within the US soft drinks market, Campbell Soup showed a large gain among the major companies. The soup and juice company acquired Bolthouse Farms in August 2012 to enter the premium chilled juice category.
Hain Celestial purchased BluePrint, a maker of high pressure processed organic fruit and vegetable juices, in December 2012. The premium juice acquisitions give both packaged food companies access to affluent, health conscious consumers who are looking for good flavour and nutrition.
A recent report, titled 'Soft Drinks in the US,' has revealed how US beverage players concentrated on better-for-you products in 2012. Key product claims in new launches and extensions across all soft drinks categories were dominated by BFY attributes such as lower calorie, zero-calorie, stevia-sweetened (and thereby lower calorie) and diet claims.
This trend reflects increased efforts by the government to take urgent measures against America‟s weight management issues and childhood obesity threat.
With the exception of a few categories, such as energy drinks, liquid concentrates and RTD coffee, overall growth in the US soft drinks market is expected to remain rather flat over the next five years. The maturity of the US soft drinks market makes it difficult to achieve growth, as Americans already consume high levels of packaged soft drinks.
Furthermore, concerns about obesity are prompting consumers to question their soft drinks consumption, as most beverages contain high levels of sugar.
For more information on the US soft drinks market, see the latest research: US Soft Drinks Market
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