The UK Soft Drinks Market: What Consumers Drink and Why?




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Product Synopsis

This report provides the results for the Soft Drinks market in the UK from Canadean's unique, highly detailed study of consumers' Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) consumption habits, and forms part of an overall series covering all CPG product markets. Its coverage includes, but is not limited to, consumption behaviors, the extent to which consumer trends influence their consumption, the value of the market these trends influence, and brand and private label choices as well as retailer choices. Much of this information can also be analyzed by specific consumer groups, providing hard and fast data on consumers and markets at the product category level.

Introduction and Landscape

Why was the report written?

Marketers in the Soft Drinks market face a major challenge. Understanding market size and segmentation is valuable, but the key to effective targeting is knowing just how valuable specific consumer groups are, and being able to quantify the impact of consumer trends. This data report solves these problems by providing survey-based data on consumer trends and consumer groups, and market data that shows the exact size of consumer groups, how much of the Soft Drinks market they account for, and which consumer trends drive their behavior.

What is the current market landscape and what is changing?

As consumer confidence increases proportionally to economic recovery, consumer trends will be directly affected. Since the global financial crisis of 2008-2009 the retail market has been characterized by an increase in the amount of discounted and own-brand products. Consumers have traded down in more essential product categories such as Bottled Water and Juices, while consumption has declined in product categories such as Sparkling Soft Drinks, Concentrates, Functional Drinks, Smoothies, and Ready to Drink Tea and Coffee. As economic and market recovery continues over 2012, consumption patterns will record a positive trend in both the medium and heavy frequency bands and the amount of non-users should decrease.

What are the key drivers behind recent market changes?

Consumers' uptake of products and the influence of consumer trends are fundamental causes of change in markets - making knowing what these trends are and the extent of their influence crucial. The survey-based data provided in this report examines over 20 consumer trends that affect the market and examines the share of consumption across 26 consumer groups. This data provides a detailed insight into exactly who the consumer is and just how much impact the latest consumer trends are having.

What makes this report unique and essential to read?

The data provided is unique in the market as it tracks consumer behavior through to its actual value impact on a product market. This provides readers with a unique data analysis of the market, allowing marketing tactics and strategy to be updated in line with the very latest consumer behaviors.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Consumer data, based upon proprietary surveys and then consumer group tracking and modelling for the following specific categories: Bottled Water, Sparkling Soft Drinks, Concentrates, Functional Drinks, Smoothies, Juices, and Ready to Drink Tea and Coffee.
  • Detailed consumer segmentation covering over 26 consumer groups, 20 consumer trends, and consumption frequency for each product category.
  • Consumer penetration for brands and private labels, based upon the original survey and then subsequent consumer tracking and modeling.
  • Unique retailer choice data at the product category level, based upon the original survey and then subsequent consumer tracking and modeling.

Key Market Issues

  • Consumer analysis reveals that Older Consumers account for the largest share of the Soft Drinks market in the UK, while Tweens and Early Teens hold the smallest share. Older Consumers tend to have the greatest disposable income, making them an important target demographic for producers of premium Soft Drinks.
  • Consumption analysis indicates that Ready to Drink Tea and Coffee has the lowest consumer base among Soft Drinks in the UK. However, consumption tends to be Heavy among the low number of users that do consume Ready to Drink Tea and Coffee, suggesting strong returns for any product that is able to expand the category's consume base. 
  • Consumption frequency analysis indicates that the share of Heavy users of Bottled Water is high among Tweens and Early Teensin the UK. Health and wellness trends are the primary reasons for this.

Key Highlights

  • Consumer survey results highlight that Changing lifestages and Better value for money are the leading trends influencing consumers' choices of Soft Drinks in the UK. The importance of the Better value for money trend is indicative of the weak state of the UK economy, with consumers carefully weighing the costs and benefits of the products they consume.
  • While branded products account for the majority of the UK Soft Drinks market, private label penetration is as high as over 55% in categories such as Juices. This is attributed to the strength of retailers' private label programs, which are also becoming an alternative to brands in categories such as Smoothies and Bottled Water. In light of this trend, the market presence of branded products is likely to weaken in near future.
  • Although the UK market is relatively fragmented, the four largest retailers account for more than an 80% share of the Soft Drinks market in value terms. This indicates a high bargaining power compared to product manufacturers.