COVID-19 has significantly impacted the drinking behaviour of Slovak consumers in 2020 as they social distanced and spent a lot of time working from home. This led to slumping sales of impulse purchases of carbonates, including lower sugar carbonates such as diet cola, which account for a significant portion of the market.
No added sugar is gaining popularity amongst soft drinks as consumers are increasingly interested in healthier products since obesity is considered a potential health risk for COVID-19 patients. This has helped products such as baby juices as well as minimally sweetened juice where a lower VAT rate was introduced in 2020, making them more affordable (available only for juice that has a max of 5g of sugar or other sweeteners per 100ml added).
Maspex Slovakia Trade maintained its lead in better for you beverages in 2020 with its Nestea brand, which is well established amongst Slovak consumers due to its longstanding presence and strong promotions over the review period. Meanwhile, Coca-Cola ranked second with its Coca-Cola, Fuze Tea and Toma brands.
Although the government is trying to aid the consumption of healthier products in Slovakia, such as with the lower VAT rate for natural unsweetened juices, it is not going to extend these benefits to a wider range of BFY beverages due to the bad fiscal situation of the state. However, other developments could help grow BFY beverages, for example using specialised labelling for lower sugar/salt/fat products in general, for example, the Czech Republic has a special logo for products that have had their original amounts reduced.
Private label products have the potential to increase their presence thanks to the introduction of more sophisticated products that tap into health and wellness options, such as lower sugar. Innovation and in-store promotion are going to be of major importance.
E-commerce in soft drinks is expected to gain popularity in Slovakia over the forecast period due to the expected expansion of large retail chains. Chains like Billa, Lidl and a few others have previously considered launching their own grocery e-shops; however, the COVID-19 situation has likely persuaded them to take the necessary steps which would result in dynamically growing e-commerce in the country.
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This report originates from Passport, our Better For You Beverages research and analysis database.
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