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The beverage industry is a shifting landscape as volume leading categories such as soft drinks continue to lose both volume and dollar sales versus compared to the previous year, 2012, according to SymphonyIRI Group, while functional and health & wellness oriented categories continue to enjoy strong volume growth. This marks the 8th consecutive year in which the consumption of soft drinks declined compared to the previous year. 


Industry giants The Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo continue to adapt to the changing markets by diversifying their portfolios. Coca-Cola acquired Honest Teas, a beverage company specializing in organic bottled tea, and invested in Aujan Industries, a leading beverage company in the Middle East. On top of that, Coca-Cola acquired the biggest Coke bottlers in North and Latin America, increasing its market share in the regions even further. Similarly, Pepsi invested in Tingyi Holding Corps, a leading Chinese food and beverage company, and it also completed its acquisition of Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods, making PepsiCo the biggest food and beverage company in Russia. 

Functional beverages continue to be the hottest segment in the beverage industry. Market research firm Companies and Markets estimates that between 2011 and 2016 this market segment will experience an annual growth of 8.7% (up from 3.6% in the previous four years), with revenues totaling approximately $89.6 billion by the end of 2016.  

In the U.S., functional beverage growth has been driven by energy drinks and shots (+8% growth in 2013). Red Bull continues to lead the category in dollar sales, but Hansen’s Monster Energy Drink, the U.S. energy drink volume leader, continues to lead the energy drinks segment in terms of growth. Energy shots have helped drive “energy” growth, led by first-to-market 5-Hour Energy (with a market share of over 90%) and now most leading brands feature a 2 oz. to 4 oz. “shot” version of their brand.

New brands continue to enter the enhanced water category, led by Glaceau’s vitaminwater, includingthe fastest growing beverage brand in the US, Sparkling Ice. Enhanced water brands also have to compete with brands from similar niches, such as flavored waters (Cascade Ice and La Croix) and functional brands (Neuro and Bai 5).  Brands are finding success with ingredient-driven functional benefits which address key health and wellness issues such as immunity, digestion, mental acuity, and longevity.

Consumers continue to enjoy the health benefits associated with ready-to-drink tea, driven by consumers’ continued growing awareness of antioxidants and the role they play in boosting immunity, with a forecasted growth of the category of more than 10% in the near future (in terms of volume sales). Arizona continues to lead the category with a 26% market share, followed by Lipton (24%) and Snapple brands. Organic RTD tea brands are a growing market niche led by Honest Tea (owned by Coca-Cola) and Purity Organic’s tea line.

The “super-fruits” continue to capture the attention of health and wellness enthusiasts, offering significant doses of antioxidants and other elements that address myriad health concerns. Pom Wonderful led the super-fruit movement with its pomegranate blend, unique packaging and merchandising, followed closely Sambazon, which features the powerful Acai berry from South American rain forests.

RTD coconut water sales continue to grow, led by brands Vita Coco and Zico. The US and European market was valued at $265 million in 2011, and will continue to expand as 58 new coconut water products entered the market in 2012.   

Innovation continues to drive the beverage industry. Let Power Brands help you bring your beverage brand to life!