Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, rising health-consciousness is making consumers be more careful about their sugar intake. For example, many consumers are continually opting for BFY reduced sugar beverages to replace traditionally high-in-sugar varieties.
Companies have invested heavily in reduced sugar and sugar free products in order to mitigate the contraction of the existing customer base. In addition to increasing difficulties in attracting new custom, producers in carbonates have to contend with existing consumers quitting the category due to the unhealthy image.
The number of overweight people in Hong Kong’s population is expected to rise over the forecast period. Recent surveys conducted by the Department of Health suggest that the number of overweight and obese people in Hong Kong will reach three million before the end of the forecast period.
As Hong Kongers return to the normal routines and spend more time outdoors, on-the-go consumption occasions will be more prevalent again – helping volume sales of BFY beverages to begin to recover from their 2020 slump, with consumers ever more mindful of their sugar intake and thus increasingly switching from carbonates to reduced sugar carbonates. Growth will be low over the forecast period for overall BFY beverages, however, given competition from cheaper and cleaner-label soft drink options such as bottled water.
Local soft drinks giant Vitasoy International Holdings Ltd has maintained its focus on reduced sugar/sugar free options in different categories within soft drinks. Over the past few years, the company has launched an array of these options in RTD tea including a traditional Hong Kong style milk tea in an RTD format and the Vita Cold Brew No Sugar Tea range, which was released in 2019.
Growth opportunities still exist for BFY beverages because of strong demand from health-conscious consumers. For this reason, the category is expected to become more competitive over the forecast period as more soft drinks players perceive the opportunities that the category offers to widen their product portfolios.
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