The situation within carbonates is not expected to improve in the short term due to the introduction of a “second soda tax” (in fact a new sugar tax) in July 2018. Six years after the first tax on sugar in soft drinks, this again forced manufacturers to start reducing the amount of sugar in many soft drinks, mainly carbonates, in order to limit price increases.
Cola carbonates continues to be hit hard by the shift away from overly sugarised drinks. While the fad for local regional colas (eg Breizh Cola) will probably decline, dynamic growth could be seen in low-calorie cola or small formats such as 15cl metal beverage cans and 20cl glass bottles aimed at limiting sugar intake.
France lagged behind many other European countries in terms of embracing the trend for premium gin brands such as Hendrick’s or Monkey 47. However, after impressive success in bars and night clubs, the fad for gin tonics with spices or cucumber began to spread in 2017 and 2018.
Coca-Cola remains the undisputed leader in carbonates due to its domination in cola carbonates. However, the company has been negatively affected by the shift away from high calorie drinks and regular carbonates.
The growth in the popularity of cocktails and notably ‘mocktails’ (alcohol-free) has been a welcome relief for non-cola carbonates. However, the area could become increasingly overcrowded very soon.
PepsiCo managed to increase its retail volume share in carbonates in 2018 – an impressive feat given it is only present in cola carbonates. This can be attributed to the ongoing success of the company’s reduced sugar Pepsi Max brand thanks to a new 1-litre pack size and strong in-store promotional activity.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Soft Drinks market research database.