Soft drinks set to overtake hot beverages

Global consumption of soft drinks is set to overtake that of hot drinks for the first time as a result of the growing popularity of bottled water, fruit and functional drinks, according to industry analysts.

Consumption of all drinks rose by 2.5% during 2005 says the Globaldrinks.com database from drinks consultancy Zenith International. The total volume consumed was 1.47 trillion litres, equivalent to 227 litres per person. The rise in beverage sales was driven by soft drinks: its worldwide consumption increased by 3.9% to 499 billion litres, equal to 77 litres per person.

The rise in beverage sales, according to Zenith, “was driven by soft drinks in the context of growing concern over obesity levels and greater public interest in health because it is the ‘better for you’ categories, such as bottled water, fruit drinks and functional drinks, that have led the trend.” UK bottled water sales in particular rose 5.3% to 2,170 million litres in 2005, worth almost &£1.6bn of retail value.

Worldwide, milk drinks and hot drinks remain major players in volume share, though are in decline as the popularity of soft drinks is affecting their sales. The volume of soft drinks consumed will continue to climb, meeting sales of hot drinks in 2008, which will continue to fall.

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