Carbonated Soft Drinks - UK - June 2011
For the purposes of this report, Mintel defines the carbonates market as covering all carbonated soft drinks sold in either the off- or on-trade. Energy/sports drinks are excluded.
The basic ingredients of soft drinks are water, a sweetener, an acid and flavouring. Under European regulations, carbonated drinks are "a manufactured drink, optionally sweetened, acidulated, carbonated and which contain fruit, fruit juice and other salts; the flavour may derive from vegetable extracts or flavourings".
Optional ingredients include fruit, carbon dioxide, preservative and colouring. Water is always the major ingredient and represents 86% of any carbonate. In order to maintain consistency with previous Mintel reports, the following categories are used:
- lemonades (including lemon-and-lime flavours)
- mixers (including tonic water, ginger ale, soda water and bitter lemon); soda water differs from fizzy water with the addition of sodium and its status as a mixer rather than a drink to be consumed on its own
- other (including general fruit-flavoured carbonates, flavoured waters, ‘traditional’ carbonates such as ginger beer and shandy, and products such as root beer, carbonated iced teas, etc).
All mainstream carbonated soft drinks are covered, although some specialised markets (such as premium, or adult, soft drinks) are covered by the separate titles indicated above.
Diet carbonates are included. Products that state ‘reduced sugar’ on labels must contain at least 25% less sugar than the normal full-sugar variant of the drink: such products are not sugar-free. Products which state ‘no added sugar’ on labels are drinks which have had no additional sugar added. As with reduced sugar drinks, these products are not sugar-free as they may have natural sugar derived from one of their ingredients, such as the sugar from natural orange juice.
Specifically excluded are energy drinks, natural bottled waters and premium (adult) soft drinks, including carbonated herbal drinks; these are covered in separate reports.
A flavoured still water is not water but what is commonly known as a clear soft drink. Under EU bottled water regulations, nothing may be added to water, except carbon dioxide. As soon as any other ingredient is added, whether it is a colour, flavour or sugar, the product becomes a soft drink.
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