FF beverages saw retail volume and current value growth rates slow dramatically in 2020 as the economic shock of COVID-19 led Ukrainians to abruptly curb discretionary spending. The drop in demand was also attributable to lockdown measures, social distancing and a steep rise in the number of people working from home, all of which reduced opportunities for on-the-go consumption and impulse purchases of FF soft drinks.
FF sports drinks was the most dynamic performer within FF beverages in retail volume and current value growth terms in 2020. While growth rates were bolstered as sales continued to emerge from a very low base, the category also benefited as the outbreak of COVID-19 reinforced the trend towards rising health-consciousness in Ukraine and encouraged more consumers to try to improve their physical fitness and general wellbeing by regularly partaking in sporting activities and other forms of exercise.
FF fruit/vegetable juice and FF bottled water were worst affected by COVID-19 in 2020, with both registering steep declines in retail volume sales. These categories were hardest hit as the negative economic impact of the pandemic prompted consumers to reduce spending on non-essentials.
As the COVID-19 pandemic begins to recede in Ukraine, FF beverages is expected to see overall retail volume and current value growth rates pick up from 2021. An improved epidemiological picture will facilitate economic recovery, which should bolster confidence among consumers and encourage higher spending on these products.
Although the recovery of FF beverages may be somewhat constrained by more cautious attitudes to discretionary spending in the wake of COVID-19, the fact that the pandemic has reinforced the long-term trend towards rising health awareness among Ukrainians should ensure the category still posts robust growth in retail volume and current value sales throughout the forecast period. Increased health-consciousness will make consumers more receptive to FF hot and soft drinks fortified with vitamins, minerals and other ingredients that are known to improve general wellbeing, strengthen immune responses, boost energy levels, reduce the risk of certain illnesses etc.
FF sports drinks is expected to be the fastest developing FF beverages category in retail volume and current value growth terms over the forecast period as a whole. With the experience of the pandemic having made Ukrainians more focused on their health and general wellbeing, an increased willingness among the population to regularly partake in sports and fitness activities looks set to be a lasting legacy of COVID-19.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Fortified/Functional Beverages industry in Ukraine with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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