BFY beverages has maintained solid retail current value growth in China in 2020, although the growth rate has slowed slightly compared with the previous couple of years. The only category with a presence within BFY beverages is BFY reduced sugar beverages, and these products are only available in soft drinks, not hot drinks.
Due to rising consumer health and wellness awareness, especially in light of the emergence of COVID-19, beverages manufacturers have focused on introducing BFY reduced sugar and sugar-free beverages to cater to the increase in demand. This has been seen in the largest category, reduced sugar RTD tea, in particular.
However, reduced sugar non-cola carbonates are gaining popularity amongst Chinese consumers, from a low base. These sparkling fruit flavour products combine the advantages of bottled water, carbonated beverages and fruit juice, and satisfy the consumer demand for convenience, price, flavour and health.
BFY beverages is expected to return to higher levels of current value growth from 2021 and throughout the forecast period. Providing China manages to maintain good control over COVID-19, and as vaccines are rolled out in the country, consumers will have increasing confidence to spend on BFY beverages, and on-the-go consumption will return.
In July 2019, the National Health Commission released the Healthy China 2019-2030 Initiative, explicitly proposing the “Three Reduce, Three Health” plan to advocate a healthy lifestyle. The aim is to reduce the intake of three ingredients, salt, fat and sugar, to maintain a healthy mouth, healthy weight and healthy bones.
There have been many different sweeteners used to produce reduced sugar beverages over the years. Artificial sweeteners used mainly include aspartame, acesulfame K and sucralose.
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