After a rapid surge in the consumption of liquid concentrates during the review period, thanks to the extraordinary performance of Mio, the category gradually shifted towards stability. Consumers who were attracted to the portability and affordability of liquid concentrates gradually changed their preference towards alternatives, becoming interested in more natural and authentic beverage options.
Millennials, one of the most important consumer segments in soft drinks, are not interested in powder concentrates as their parents previously were. This stems from the fact that there were very few product launches during the last five years, which made the category unable to keep engaged with the younger generation.
New regulations are set to change the market environment and pose an even greater threat to sales of concentrates. For example, concentrates might be subject to front-of-package nutrition labelling, which aims to highlight products high in sugar, sodium and saturated fats.
Kraft Heinz Canada owns the Mio and Crystal Light brands in liquid concentrates, which according to trade sources are determining the fate of the category. The company has consistently maintained its lead thanks to the launch of new brands and variants covering most segments, such as its leading brand Crystal Light, launched in 2013, targeting females, and the line extension Mio Sports, introduced to Canada in 2015.
Key multinational soft drinks players, including Coca-Cola and Nestlé Canada, are becoming less interested in concentrates, as the category is not considered big enough, and there is no prospect of substantial growth. Even Kraft Heinz Canada, as the leader, is not giving the category the resources, support and priority that it used to provide in the early stages.
Despite the slowdown in liquid concentrates and rapid decline in powder concentrates, speciality drinks present growth opportunities. One area is natural and clean energy drinks, as exemplified by the brands BioSteel and NorthStar Organics, which offer powder concentrates-based energy drinks.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Soft Drinks market research database.