In 2020, sports drinks was one of the most severely affected categories within soft drinks in terms of off-trade total volume and value sales. The decline was measured in double digits, mainly due to the fact that sports drinks are easily replaced with other soft drink options such as bottled water, which is considered a more affordable option while exercising, or juices that provide health benefits such as boosting immunity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2020, on-trade sales in sports drinks continued to dramatically decline in volume and value sales terms. This was due not only to the fact that sports centres, gyms and foodservice establishments were closed for many weeks, but because of the limited popularity of sports drinks in Saudi Arabia in general.
Al Jomaih Bottling Plant’s Gatorade continued to dominate in sports drinks in 2020, followed by Coca-Cola Canners of Southern Africa’s brand, Powerade, with the latter taking less than half the market share held by the former. Both companies gained some share, however.
Total volume and value sales in sports drinks are expected to continue to register negative growth over the forecast period, as Saudi consumers whose budgets have been constrained as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic focus on necessity purchases and seek out more affordable options such as bottled water and juices, which also benefit from having a healthier profile than sports drinks. The economic outlook in Saudi Arabia is also bleaker than in some other countries, as oil prices are expected to continue to drop over the next five years.
Over the forecast period, it is expected that on-trade sports drinks sales will continue to decrease to near non-existent levels across foodservice outlets in Saudi Arabia unless players can persuade a reluctant and sceptical local population of the potential health benefits of their products and offer natural alternatives that provide more price-conscious consumers with good value for money.
Across the forecast period, it is anticipated that Al Jomaih Bottling Plant’s Gatorade will continue to be the clear leader in sports drinks, due to its well-established reputation as a reliable Western brand and lower unit price compared with its imported, more expensive global counterpart, Powerade, by Coca-Cola Canners of Southern Africa. As the ongoing economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take its toll on the country, consumers will seek out affordable soft drinks over the next few years and be more inclined to respond to social media advertising and e-commerce retailing.
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This report originates from Passport, our Sports Drinks research and analysis database.
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