The rise in consumer health-awareness, underpinned by factors such as a focus on health issues in the media and on the internet and government health initiatives, is the key driver of growth in Asian speciality drinks. The category is primarily reliant on two drinks with a strong health-orientated positioning, lactobacillus drinks and vinegar drinks.
The strong health-orientated positioning of the core Asian speciality drinks products is supported by their compatibility with growing consumer demand for products perceived to contain natural ingredients. As consumers become increasingly concerned about the potentially harmful impact of artificial ingredients such as flavourings, sweeteners and colourings on health, products such as lactobacillus drinks and vinegar drinks are becoming increasingly attractive, especially as their long-standing traditions of consumption boost consumers’ confidence in their safety.
With consumer health-consciousness being one of the key influences on demand in soft drinks and a growing range of products working to achieve a strong health-orientated positioning, Asian speciality drinks manufacturers will need to work to ensure that their products resonate with modern sensibilities. This is likely to involve communicating increasingly precise health benefits, as with vinegar drinks manufacturers’ claims that their products can help to reduce visceral fat and lower blood sugar levels.
Asahi Soft Drinks strengthened its dominant position in Asian speciality drinks in both volume and value terms in 2018. The company’s strength in the category is founded on the Calpis brand of lactobacillus drinks, which is available in a number of sub-brands, with Calpis Water and Calpis Fruit occupying the top two positions in both volume and value terms in 2018, while Karada Calpis has been the third largest brand in volume terms and the fourth largest in value terms since its launch in 2017.
The most dynamic Asian speciality drinks brand in Japan in both volume and value terms in the final year of the review period, the FFC-labelled Karada Calpis points to the potential for a more specific health-orientation in the positioning of products in the category. Karada Calpis contains a unique lactobacillus - lactobacillus amylovorus CP1563 – derived from Calpis’s laboratories.
Melodian Co Ltd’s Kurozu de Genki Diet Type and Yakult Honsha Co Ltd’s Kurozu Drink both saw strong growth in both volume and value terms in 2018. These products benefited from the increasing demand for black vinegar underpinned by the health and wellness trend and the associated increase in popularity of products with a natural positioning.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Soft Drinks market research database.