Sales of Niche Categories Grow as those of Traditional Carbonated Drinks Wane in US Beverages Market

Published Date : Nov 09, 2015

The transition of the North America beverage industry seems apparent. The demand for and sales of traditional products such as aerated soft drinks have been declining while niche categories such as ready to drink coffee and energy drinks as well as bottled water have been recording strong growth. 

As far as liquid refreshment beverages go, the US market grew last year after being almost flat the year before. The growth in 2014 can be attributed to the development of the bottled water market, which amounted to a total volume of 30.9 billion gallons that year, registering an increase of 2 per cent compared to the category volume the year before with 30.2 billion gallons.

Niche beverage categories have continued to perform better than most of the conventional mass market categories, as has been the case over the past few years. Premium beverages such as ready to drink coffee and energy drinks registered a rather strong growth during 2014. More established categories such as fruit beverages and carbonated soft drinks have failed to develop. 

According to New York based Beverage Marketing Corp., registering a 11 per cent rise in volume in 2014, ready to drink coffee grew faster compared to all the other beverage segment. However, this segment accounted for a rather small share of the overall volume of liquid refreshment beverage.

Energy drinks grew at a 7 per cent rate but in terms of size, this category too was fairly modest. For the first time since 2011, the sports beverages segment surpassed the 1 billion gallon limit and registered a 1.4 billion gallon volume in 2014. 

Carbonated soft drink was the biggest category in liquid refreshment beverages but has lost market share and volume last year. The category was down by 1 percent, with volume slipping from 12.9 billion gallons in 2013 to less than 12.8 billion gallons last year.