Five themes reshaping the soft drinks sector over 2021/2022

Wednesday, 01 September, 2021

Five themes reshaping the soft drinks sector over 2021/2022

It is anticipated that dairy-free iced coffee, fibre-filled drinks and recyclable containers will drive the growing soft drink market in 2021. After a tough year and a half owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the soft drink market is expected to see a 3.6% growth in 2021*, driven by some key themes. Holly Inglis, a beverages analyst at GlobalData, sees five primary features to pay attention to in the coming year.

Plant-based proteins
Vegan beverages, thanks to innovations in the realm of plant-based and soy drinks, are pegged to be popular. Their association with healthiness and popularity on social media such as TikTok are proving to be popular driving factors.

Digestive health
It is clear that consumers are interested in beverage ingredients that boost digestive health, and manufacturers of soft drinks are paying attention to this. Expect to see drinks on shelves that boast of their digestion-assisting properties in the next year, such as Gutsy, which is packed with fibre.

Functional and fortified
Energy drinks, despite their high sugar content, continue to be strong performers — during 2020 energy drinks were the only category of soft drink to see growth despite changes in the market due to the pandemic’s effects on the market*. Expect to see more strong performance in this category in the coming year. New drinks continued to be developed, including energy drinks with natural and healthy ingredients.

Both consumers and manufacturers are paying attention to the sustainability of packaging, with continued emphasis on environmentally friendly and renewably sourced packaging. The recent launch of the sustainable and recyclable ‘BottleCan’ was in response to consumer desire to be eco-friendly, so expect to see more developments on this front.

Socially and environmentally consumers are excited to try soft drinks with premium ingredients that are healthy and support active lifestyles. These premium ingredients should excite consumers who are looking to have interesting drink experiences.

The long-term outlook on soft drinks is a positive one, so expect to see continued developments and innovations in the future.

*Data taken from GlobalData’s Annual Soft Market Analyser – Global

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