Although the soft drinks industry was optimistic about a recovery in volume sales in 2018, such a recovery did not occur, at least for major categories like carbonates. This was mainly because FIFA World Cup sales were not as positive as forecast, and there was an unexpected disruption in industry production and distribution with the lorry drivers’ strike in May of 2018.
Off-trade volume sales registered positive performance in 2018, while the on-trade is expected to do so only in 2019. This difference is a consequence of Brazilians’ more conservative spending habits in the face of the economic crisis.
While in many categories, the leading multinational companies struggle to innovate and to align existing products with new consumer values, such as health and transparency, new entrants, especially small and regional brands, have been proving to be faster in bringing innovation and new product concepts to the market. This is particularly true in categories like juices and RTD tea, where entry barriers are lower.
2016 was a poor year in terms of new product launches, but 2017 showed signs of greater industry confidence. 2018 saw greater dynamism in terms of innovation.
Although for many players of this industry, volume sales recovery in the post-crisis period should happen organically as the economy stabilises, others remain sceptical about this and state that they will focus on being more effective in responding to changed consumer behaviour. Because of lower available incomes to spend during the review period, manufacturers fought for consumers’ attention – and spending – which resulted in significant empowerment of consumers.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Soft Drinks market research database.