Ken Research announced its latest publication on, “Still Drinks Consumption Volume and Growth Forecast to 2021”, offer insights on the changing trends and key issues within theWest European Still Drinks market. The publication includes an insightful analysis of volume (M liters) and growth (Y-o-Y) trends, consumer behavior, packaging trends, leading players and distribution trends withinWest European still drinks market. The analysis of the aforementioned trends has been done across sixteen individual countries in West Europe: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and United Kingdom.
Brief Overview of the Still Drinks Market in West Europe
A further categorisation of drinks under the soft drinks category, on the basis of fruit juice content present in the packaged beverage, provides for three sub- categories of drinks: Juice, nectar and still drinks. Still drinks are RTD, non-carbonated, fruit or non-fruit flavoured with a juice content of 0-24.9%. JNSD market form a reasonable and important part of the soft drinks market in West Europe under the non-carbonated category. For e.g. in UK still drinks and juices captures 10% share of the soft drinks market. In recent years, the market for still drinks has been maturing in US, however expanding in the rest of the world. On account slowdown in consumption of carbonated drinks and fading image of still drinks of being a cheap drink, the still drink market has seen a surge in demand.
Like other CPG market, the market for still drinks is characterised by fierce competition and low consumer switching costs often leading to price wars. This leads to decline in sale in value terms, however managed by the sales increase in volume terms due to its image as a healthy drink.
Still drinks market in West Europe, in spite of being in its growth stage and forming a small segment of the soft drink market; has emerged as a key driver of growth in the soft drinks market when most of the sub-categories are facing decline in their sales. Although sales volume of still drinks is also declining, still the scenario is improving on account of less decline as compared to their decline in the previous years. The reasons for year on year increasing sales can be ascribed to various factors such as busy lifestyle, health awareness among consumers, fading of the image of still drinks as being a cheap drink, increasing living standards which has led to a surge in the demand for still drinks as well as supplier-side strategies such as premiumisation, innovation and launch of new products, price war leading to low prices. Low inflation further boosts the growth by increasing the money in consumers’ pocket.
Key Factors Driving Growth in West European Still Drinks Market
Growth in the West European still drinks market is influenced by various market and non-market factors that has led to increased consumer demand and has encouraged the market players to strategize their business activities in a way which leads to further growth and expansion of the market. Along with this, the macroeconomic conditions in Western Europe are also favouring the market growth.
With increasing work pressure leading to increasingly busy life style of European consumers, the demand for ready-to-drink products have increased. With rising health awareness among consumers, the demand for carbonated as well as alcoholic drinks are decreasing, which gives a direct opportunity to the still drinks market to grow. Over the years, the image of still drinks of a cheap product is fading away and consumers have started taking it as a nutritious refreshment product. Rising disposable income has led to demands of improved quality expensive products.
On the other side, manufacturing companies, seeing the surge in demand for still drinks, are planning their various business activities in the best possible way so as to reap maximum benefits from increased demands. Fierce competition, apart from increasing demands, have directed companies to focus on their pricing techniques, invest into innovation and launching still drinks with different flavours, blend etc. as well as investing into advertising for brand building and explore premium products for the high-end consumers.This consequently leads to expansion of the product market and sales volume.
Some of the key macroeconomic trends driving growth in West European Still drinks market:
• Increasing populations leads to broadening of consumer base.
• Increasing purchasing power along with rising GDP per capita, increases demand for premium products.
• Low commodity prices contributing to low inflation rates increases the money in drinkers’ pocket for spending.
• Non-increasing unemployment rates with increasing labour force, hence increasing consumer base.
West European Still Drinks Market Prospects
In the review period (2010-2015), due to falling commodity prices, particularly oranges, diminishing popularity of still drinks among consumers and lack of marketing strategies as compared to big soft drink companies; the still drinks market in different countries of West Europe, suffered from a strong decline in sales volume with negative CAGR. Over the next five years, 2016-2021, the decline in sales volume is expected to further continue in coming years as well; however the performance of the market is forecasted to be better in the sense that the decline in sales will be less as compared to previous years’ decline. The reasons for the expected decrease in momentum of sales decline can be attributed to increased demand from consumers on account of busy lifestyle, health awareness, fading away of the image of cheap product, low unemployment rates; and growth and expansion of the market through premiumisation, innovation & advertisements to overcome the maturity of the market.
However with more and more companies entering the premium still drinks products market, there is risk losing the good image of premium products in the eyes of consumer in the coming years, as excessive influx of premium products may confuse the consumers, make premium products trivial and hence finish the interest of brand-conscious consumers in them. Price war as a result of fierce competition has also resulted in declining sales value; hence in coming years, manufacturers’ are expected to strategize upon increasing sales value apart from sales volume.