Guest Blogger: Victoria Milne, Senior Market Analyst, Zenith International Ltd.
2009 has not been an easy year for the UK soft drinks industry. The country’s economy continued to be deeply impacted by recession, the worst for decades, while the ‘barbeque summer’, originally forecasted by the Met Office, failed to deliver a meteoric surge of sales. Yet, despite these challenges, soft drinks market in the UK showed growth in both volume and value terms in 2009. According to the British Soft Drinks Association industry report produced by food and drink consultancy, Zenith International, UK soft drinks market registered an impressive 1.7% growth in volume and 2.2% gain in value in 2009 to stand at 14,140 million litres and £13,224 million respectively.
Perhaps the most impressive statistics, however, came from Carbonates – the biggest category, accounting for 43% of all UK soft drinks. They outperformed the market in both volume and value terms, providing the consumers with an affordable and tasty treat in tough times.
As value became increasingly important to the nation, private label offerings fared better than brands in all sectors of the industry. However, both branded and private label soft drinks consumption should be set to continue growth in future, as the economic conditions improve and the industry is boosted with incoming tourism during 2012 Olympics. Presuming average weather conditions in the intervening years to 2014, Zenith International forecasts the market to reach close to 15,000 million litres, with per person consumption hitting 235 litres.