RTD coffee saw marked declines in both volume and value terms in 2018 as it continued to suffer from consumer migration towards fresh coffee. Consumers’ taste in coffee has become more sophisticated as they have been exposed to a wide range of high-quality products through outlets such as specialist coffee shops.
RTD coffee’s core consumer base has historically been comprised of middle-aged males, who typically consume canned products, often while smoking. However, as this consumer group ages, changing lifestyles mean that it is not being replaced like-for-like.
Prospects are not promising for RTD coffee during the forecast period, with the category expected to see declining volumes as it suffers from increasing competition from rival coffee products, demographic developments and a contracting core consumer base. In order to stimulate sales, manufacturers will need to develop products and brands with a more distinctive positioning.
Coca-Cola (Japan) remained the largest player in RTD coffee in volume terms in 2018, though it lagged behind Suntory Beverage & Food in value terms, having lost the lead in the previous year. Coca-Cola (Japan) experienced ongoing decline in its share in both volume and value terms in the final year of the review period, as its market-leading Georgia brand was amongst the most prominent examples of a brand struggling to replenish its core consumer base and compete with rival coffee products.
Suntory Beverage & Food remained the largest player in RTD coffee by value in 2018, though, like Coca-Cola, it saw its share decline in both volume and value terms during the year. Suntory Beverage & Food registered strong share growth during the review period, thanks to strong marketing support and product development in support of tis Boss brand, which included the promotion of the brand’s 25th anniversary.
ITO EN Ltd was the only major RTD coffee player to see growth in either volume or value terms in 2018. Towards the end of the review period, the company helped to maintain the momentum of its Tully’s brand, which benefits from a relatively upmarket image amongst increasingly quality-conscious coffee consumers, through developments such as the introduction of Tully’s Coffee Smooth Black Medium.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Soft Drinks market research database.