The strong competition that carbonates experienced from other soft drinks, such as juice drinks and RTD tea, forced some companies to maintain or reduce their unit prices to compete with these alternatives. Consumers sometimes perceive these beverages (juice drinks and RTD tea) as healthier, even if they are high in sugar.
Carbonates players have been expanding their portfolios regarding packaging and sizes to capture different tastes and a wider consumer base. To appeal to mid- and high-income consumers, they launched smaller individual pack sizes, such as 200ml metal beverage cans and 233ml PET bottles.
The most active category in terms of new products and brands was non-cola carbonates, mainly for imported premium brands such as Franklin & Sons which is imported from the UK and offers flavours such as British Dandelion, Lemon & English Elderflower, Cloudy Apple & Yorkshire Rhubarb with Cinnamon. There are also new imported mixers such as tonic water with brands such as Franklin & Sons, and Fever Tree.
Carbonates continued to be led by two international companies: Pepsicola Interamericana de Guatemala SA and Coca-Cola de Guatemala SA. Both companies offer wide product portfolios with different brands and flavours, along with different pack sizes and strong distribution networks that allow them to reach a wide consumer base.
In 2018, Coca-Cola began to rebrand its cola carbonates, by changing some names such as Coca-Cola to Coca-Cola Sabor Original; Coca-Cola Light to Coca-Cola Sabor Ligero; and Coca-Cola Zero to Coca-Cola Sin Azúcar. These new names are now in Spanish and more understandable for local consumers who do not speak English, which is the majority in Guatemala.
In 2018, Wal-Mart Centroamérica SA began to enter its Great Value private label carbonates line in supermarkets and hypermarkets. The strategy of this product is to compete with premium imported brands with more affordable prices.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Soft Drinks market research database.