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Non-Alcoholic Beverages in the United States Report

  • Published: 2013-07-25
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Non-Alcoholic Beverages in the United States Report
2009 marked the second year of unprecedented declines in the overall beverage market, signaling that the economy and decreased consumer spending continues to have a significant impact on beverage purchases. The overall United States (U.S.) liquid refreshment beverage market shrank by 3.1 percent in volume in 2009.

The economic downturn in the U.S. has refocused consumer behavior on value, leading them to choose private label products and discount store venues. In addition, U.S. consumers are seeking reduced calorie, reduced sugar, and functional value-adds in the beverages they consume. As a result, numerous new beverage products are entering the market.

Enhanced water, fortified/functional, and performance enhancing beverages are diversifying the beverage sector like never before. Enhanced and functional trends are leading the juice and juice drink category, as more manufacturers are recognizing and responding to the health and wellness trend by creating innovative, enhanced functional beverage products. In 2009, juices containing superfruits led consumer trends, and are expected to do so again in 2010. Consumer knowledge is maturing and many consumers now perceive a juice containing superfruits to be good for them. Superfruit juices can be pricey, but this has not deterred U.S. consumers. As the economy rebounds, consumers will be more willing to pay a premium when they believe there is a functional benefit.

Traditional and new wave caffeine beverages are popular with several demographics. New tea and coffee formulations, as well as energy drinks, account for a large share of sales in the beverage sector. Value propositions, combined with health benefits, have helped sustain the tea industry through the recession. Coffee customization has been driving sales in this sub-sector. Ready to drink (RTD) coffee beverage sales have experienced double digit growth, and that trend is expected to continue. Iced coffee drinks have become so popular that even the McDonald's chain now offers its own version of the product—McCafé Frappés. The company announced that April sales grew 4% in 2009, and they are partially attributing these sales to beverages, which includes their Frappé. Many caffeine-based drinks have flooded the market in the past year, and have been a consumer hit.

Sport drink sales are forecasted to grow by 1% in 2010, with an annual growth, between 2010-2013, of 0.25%. The two biggest players in this category experienced either negative or no growth for the 52-week period ending February 21, 2010. Sport drinks have become quite mature in the U.S. market, and consumers increasingly prefer fortified/functional bottled waters and teas.
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