Carbonated soft drinks from the time they were invented have been projected as healthy drinks. They have become an integral part of the diet. A look at the figures of the carbonated soft drinks manufacturers from year 2005, however, suggests a change in this trend. The consumption of soft drinks has reduced while that of non carbonated beverages is growing. The sales volume of most carbonated soft drinks has been steadily declining. Leading analyst of Morgan Stanley Bill Pecoriello expresses in his report that over the last few years from around 2005 there has been a decline of around 1.5% in the volume of soft drink sales. The downward trend may well continue over the next few years.
According to Pecoriello the volume of carbonated soft drinks is going down while that of non carbonated beverages is increasing. The daily consumption of carbonated soft drinks among all age groups has come down. This is a positive step according to experts and nutritionists, who have long maintained that carbonated soft drinks are harmful to health. Soft drinks often contain HFCS. It has been identified as a major cause of obesity among adolescents. Moreover, the acidic nature of soft drinks causes dental decay and oral carries. More and more people are turning to healthier drinks like sports drinks, flavored carbonated water, fruit juices etc.
Statistics on consumption among various age groups shows a very interesting figure. The number of teenagers aged 13 to 17 years who were the major consumers of soft drinks, is the category that shows a steeper decline in consumption. Pecoriello attributes it to changing preferences to non carbonated beverages like sports drinks, fruit juices, flavored carbonated water, etc. It is surely an alarming scenario for the manufacturers. The trends show an increasing concern and awareness about their overall health and wellness. Awareness as well as parental restrictions could be the major cause of this reversal of trend. Overall population is increasingly looking at non carbonated soft drinks as against the carbonated soft drinks.
PepsiCo is better placed to take benefit of the changing trends according to Pecoriello. They have a strong portfolio of non carbonated soft drinks like Gatorade and Aquafina water. However, Coca-Cola brand’s Powerade and Dasani Mineral water have not been able to catch up with them. According to him the distribution of non Coke products has been more profitable. Non carbonated drinks other than water have a market share of around 21% in the US soft drink industry with a potential to go up to 60% in the next five years. Coca-Cola has started production of new products using stevia, a no calorie natural sweetener and a safe herb.
The figures stated by Pecoriello on the carbonated soft drink industry trend shows an inclination of people towards healthier options. Non carbonated soft drinks popularity is increasing. The growing awareness among consumers is worrying soft drink manufacturers and making them find better healthier options like non carbonated drinks and carbonated flavored water. It is good news that the next generation understands the importance of really healthier soft drinks as well as water for the betterment of their health and wellness.