November 05, 2002
The soft drink industry is sporting smiles in Asia at present, defying downturns in other industries, especially in the hotter climates of South and South East Asia, in developing countries where increasing disposable incomes mean mass markets can now indulge in ego-gratifying brand consumption even if underneath it's really just plain old H2O, and where increasing taxes on alcoholic beverages has seen consumers turn soft.
As consumers increase their disposable income in developing Asian countries, branded bottled water and soft drinks are hot items.
Beverage consultancy Zenith International has recently released their Global Soft Drinks 2002 report, indicating that total soft drinks volumes worldwide reached 412,000 million liters in 2001, equivalent to 67.5 liters per person.
According to Zenith, the bottled water segment is displaying the fastest growth. In 2001, bottled water accounted for 10 per cent of the market and accounted for 53 per cent of total soft drinks growth from 1996 to 2001.
North America is the largest soft drinks market with a 27 per cent of total volume sales in 2001, while carbonates are the biggest soft drinks sector, accounting for 45 per cent of global volume, yet it is in markets outside North America, including developing Asian countries where growth is most pronounced.
Zenith reports that that five fastest growing country markets between 1996 and 2001 were all from the Middle East, Asia and Eastern Europe, and that the five fastest growing countries between 2001 and 2006 will all be in Asia.
Zenith Research Director Gary Roethenbaugh stated that "Thanks to highly populous and rapidly emerging markets such as China and India, consumption in Asia is projected to overtake that of North America in 2006."
Asian markets expected to achieve the highest growth rate in the next 5 years are Pakistan, India, Indonesia, China and Vietnam, all developing Asian countries with large consumer populations. The list includes three of the most highly populated countries in the world), and also reinforces the mass market advantages, both in marketing channels and manufacturing, for the industry in Asia.
Looking ahead, Zenith predicts that the worldwide market for soft drinks will reach 523,000 million liters in 2006, growing at 5 per cent while other sectors like hot drinks (1 per cent), milk (2 per cent) and alcoholic drinks (3 per cent) are growing at a slower rate.
Singaporeans, while paying Malaysia a princely sum of 3c per 100,000 liters for their water supply are willing to pay around around 8 Singapore dollars for 325 milliliters of the branded bottled stuff in a fancy nightclub or trendy café. We also expect Chinese consumers to continue to take to branded bottled water like.. well.. fishies to water...
Leading brands Coca Cola and Pepsi continue to fight it out, rolling out new brands faster and more frequently (such as "Manao Soda" to Thailand and "Coca Cola Light" to Thailand and "Pepsi Twist" to Malaysia.) As reported in an earlier item, Coca Cola's Manao Soda was comprehensively taste tested in Thailand to ensure it met local tastes. Certainly in Thailand, a price war continues...
It's a nice market out there if you can get it... and it's nice to see Kickapoo Joy Juice still in strong evidence on convenience store chain shelves throughout Malaysia...Published November 05, 2002 08:45 AM in Asia
Asian Market Research News provides the latest news relating to the practice of market research in Asian countries, industry and consumer surveys, economic prospects, case studies, market and branding strategy & market entry. It is intended for business marketing professionals targeting Asian markets.