Reduced sugar and calorie beverages continue to grow in popularity within soft drinks, with interest being further fuelled by concerns over the impact of COVID-19, thus boosting the shift away from on-trade to off-trade channels (at home consumption). Unlike other consumer goods areas, health and wellness has actually been boosted by the pandemic and increased focus on things like controlling sugar consumption.
Consumers increasingly realise that artificial sweeteners, which were previously considered harmless or safe to ignore, are now considered potentially harmful to health, often being worse than the sugar they replace. Consequently, there is a continuous decline in reduced sugar non-cola carbonates, juice and concentrates.
Central Beverage continues to lead better for you beverages sales in Israel, offering brands that benefit from strong consumer loyalty such as Coke Zero, Diet Sprite, Diet Cola and Fuze Tea. The company also has a strong negotiating position with retailers and enjoys wide distribution.
Over the forecast period, reduced sugar beverages will continue to see strong growth as consumers are ever more interested in a healthier way of living, a trend that was already growing strongly before the pandemic. Reduced sugar variants are expected to continue to perform better than regular variants, especially in carbonates.
Despite recent consumer health trends, reduced-sugar cola beverages continue to perform well. In the cola category, when consumers purchase such products, they understand that they are still healthy, but are less concerned with sugar versus reduced sugar products.
Reduced sugar energy drinks saw notable growth towards the end of the review period, mainly at the expense of regular energy drinks, although overall consumption of energy drinks was not significantly affected. XL is the leading brand in this category.
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