Overall prospects for the global soft drinks industry continue to trend up slightly in Q2. Away-from-home traffic and on-trade consumption remain the most important variables as we enter the vital high-volume summer months of northern hemisphere markets. Rapid vaccine roll-out in the US is fuelling improved prospects for economic growth and on-trade recovery, while many European markets face a slower and more uneven path to recovery.
The outlook in both volume and value terms for global soft drinks remains surprisingly consistent with the original published forecast (October 2020), with a small upgrade on the recent Q1 (February 2021) outlook. However, this stability at the aggregated level belies significant change at the country and category level, with much improved short-term prospects in the US – the world’s largest soft drinks market – offsetting far weaker performances in Europe, India and Southeast Asia.
This quarter, the update to the Soft Drinks Industry Forecast Model includes both updated hard driver effects for each of the 54 IFM countries (notably GDP per capita forecasts from Euromonitor International’s Macro Model and updated market environment variables), in addition to a thorough review of soft driver assumptions with respect to on-premises mobility. Major upgrades to the US on-trade outlook for 2021-2022 again offset downgrades to the short-term outlook in Western Europe, where reduced tourism flows and mobility restrictions continue to impact on-premises dining.
Company activity over the past three months was highlighted by Coca-Cola European Partners acquiring Coca-Cola Amatil, merging Coca-Cola’s anchor bottler in Western Europe with its bottling business in Australasia, Indonesia and the Pacific to form Coca-Cola Europacific Partners. This capped a busy quarter of competitive activity, with the former bottled water segment of Nestlé Waters North America also rebranded as BlueTriton Brands by the business’s new private equity owners.
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