Total value sales of carbonates increased in 2018, mainly on the strength of summer sales, which after a relatively cool June picked up during a warmer July-August period with several heat spells (defined as two or more successive days with temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius).
Given that the negative health outcomes associated with high sugar consumption deter consumers from buying more carbonates, manufacturers will likely continue to reduce calorie count and sugar content in their portfolios. For example, more than half of Coca-Cola’s portfolio in Austria consists of zero-calorie or calorie-reduced varieties.
Advertising campaigns are becoming increasingly important for carbonates producers to drive demand and create brand loyalty. In an overall declining category, positioning a brand prominently enables customer retention.
Coca-Cola Austria remained the undisputed leader in carbonates in 2018, mainly thanks to the enduring popularity of its Coca-Cola brand. While the company has in recent years been shifting its strategy away from carbonates towards more dynamic products (such as RTD tea), it continued to reshape its carbonates portfolio by launching new reduced sugar varieties.
Schweppes was one of the main beneficiaries of how current lifestyle trends can increase demand for particular products. Its flagship Schweppes brand in tonic water/other bitters witnessed strong retail value sales growth in 2018, amid strong demand for mixers as a result of the current gin trend among younger consumers.
Apart from larger players, the high degree of innovation and changing lifestyle trends ensure that smaller players can successfully carve out niches for themselves. A case in point is domestic start-up Pone sonst nix.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Soft Drinks market research database.