Health concerns see UK soft drinks consumption fall

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Uk soft drinks, Soft drink, Uk

A new report on the UK soft drinks market reveals that the majority
of UK soft drinks categories have struggled following poor summer
sales in 2004.

But while this contrasts poorly with spectacular sales in the summer of 2003, the report from Zenith International says that the long-term path of soft drink growth remains steady.

UK soft drinks consumption fell 2 per cent last year to 13.7 billion litres, down from 13.9 billion litres in 2003. However, the 2004 total soft drinks still figure represents an increase of 47 per cent over the past ten years and 18 per cent since 1999.

Bottled water once again remained a growing sector, as the UK consumer continues to become aware of the health benefits associated with proper hydration. Carbonates suffered at the hands of the UK weather in 2004, yet low calorie variants continued to make share gains.

According to a separate report, the proportion of British adults drinking bottled water increased from 35 per cent in 2000 to 54 per cent in 2004.

Market research group Mintel said that more consumers were increasing their daily intake of water, either because they want to follow a healthier daily eating pattern or because they wish to maintain their fluid intake as part of a weight-reducing regime.

"Consumers also see it as a lifestyle choice, forsaking caffeine and carbonates in favour of water, which is innocent of any type of health-crime,"​ said Amanda Lintott, consumer analyst at Mintel.

Indeed, the Zenith report​ also found that the concepts of 'no added sugar'​ and 'added functionality'​ - which focus on the underlying trends of health and wellbeing - were major driving forces behind the diversification of the UK soft drinks industry.

A greater array of healthier and more functional products - notably those launched in 2003, such as Red Bull Sugarfree, Ocean Spray Light and Lucozade Sport's Hydroactive sports water - are also gaining a higher profile.

More recently, soft drinks giant Pepsi announced that it was rolling out its carbonated grapefruit drink Ting to UK consumers, underlining the fact that leading drinks firms are targeting the increasingly health conscious consumer.

In addition, the UK soft drinks industry has found itself having to respond not only to consumer demand but also to increasing national media attention and governmental pressure. The focus on rising obesity levels remains intense.

Zenith says that the 2005 UK Soft Drinks Industry Report contains all the key developments within the UK soft drinks market including market and sector overviews from 1984, market segments from 2000 to 2004, company rankings from 2003-2004, detailed tracking of the major market developments, profiles of the Top 50 companies, and forecasts to 2009.

Related topics: Market Trends

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