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The global soft drinks industry continues to develop in new directions. With health driving the market to an ever greater degree, manufacturers are increasingly reformulating their products to reduce sugar and fat levels, as well as removing artificial ingredients and additives to cater towards the desire for more natural drinks.
The soft drinks industry is forecast to grow moderately in 2012, with emerging markets providing the major impetus for growth as developed markets continue to drag on growth. However, the industry is expected to strengthen over the next five years. While developed markets will take time to recover, consumer trends should support sales of industry products, including low-sugar carbonated beverages, premium non-carbonated beverages and sports and energy drinks.
Most major companies have seen their sales driven by key emerging markets, such as China, Mexico and Brazil. Nestlé outperformed its multinational peers thanks to its China Yinlu acquisition.
The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) leads the overall soft drinks market and PepsiCo continues to trail behind by a large margin. TCCC's wider geographical presence and successful push in low-calorie carbonates in developed markets support its strong global leadership. PepsiCo's marginal position in Indonesia represents a weak spot.
The key strategies for the leading manufacturers of soft drinks are increasing capacity, building up infrastructure, and the localisation of international brands and products. A major push in core growth categories is recommended. Carbonates producers are also expanding their ranges of healthier drinks, such as low-calorie drinks.
Slow economic recovery, market saturation and ageing populations are challenges facing the global soft drinks market over the coming years. Increasingly stringent regulations on sugarised drinks have prompted innovation in sweeteners.
For more information on the global soft drinks market, see the latest research: Global Soft Drinks Market
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