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Carbonated Soft Drinks - US - April 2019

Covered in this report

For the purposes of this report, Mintel has used the following definitions:

Carbonated soft drinks are non-alcoholic beverages that have added carbonation. This includes beverages with a range of flavors, sweeteners, and colors. Colas, non-colas, craft, natural, and steviasweetened CSDs are combined in the regular and diet segments.

This report divides the market into two segments:

  • Regular carbonated soft drinks, including full-calorie and reduced/mid-calorie soft drinks
  • Diet or zero-calorie soft drinks

"Despite growing consumer aversion to sugar, the CSD (carbonated soft drink) market remains one of the largest non-alcoholic beverage markets and one characterized by general stagnation rather than steep decline. 2018 was a strong year for CSD brands with sales growth occurring among most full-calorie CSDs and a revitalization of declining diet brands. CSD brands do face headwinds with some consumers dropping out of the market but positioning CSDs as a treat rather than an everyday beverage allows brands to retain consumers most at risk of leaving the CSD market entirely."
- Caleb Bryant, Senior Beverage Analyst

This Report looks at the following areas:

  • Lapsed consumers are out of the market for good
  • CSD brands contend with changing preferences and demographics
  • Heavy users are a loyal consumer base
  • Keep at-risk consumers engaged with mini treats
  • Craft CSDs give way to mocktails and super-premium mixers
  • CSD companies change with the times

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Overview
          • Figure 1: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of carbonated soft drinks, at current prices, 2013-23
        • The issues
          • Lapsed consumers are out of the market for good
            • Figure 2: Increased CSD consumption motivators, January 2019
          • CSD brands contend with changing preferences and demographics
            • Figure 3: CSD attitudes, by generation, January 2019
          • The opportunities
            • Heavy users are a loyal consumer base
              • Figure 4: CSD attitudes, by CSD consumption frequency, January 2019
            • Keep at-risk consumers engaged with mini treats
              • Figure 5: Reasons for drinking CSDs, by CSD consumption frequency, January 2019
            • Craft CSDs give way to mocktails and super-premium mixers
              • CSD companies change with the times
                • What it means
                • The Market – What You Need to Know

                  • CSD market grows on the strong performance of diet brands
                    • CSDs contend with trendy sparkling water
                      • Opportunity for brands to elevate the can
                      • Market Size and Forecast

                        • CSD sales on the upswing
                          • Figure 6: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of carbonated soft drinks, at current prices, 2013-23
                          • Figure 7: Total US sales and forecast of carbonated soft drinks, at current prices, 2013-23
                      • Market Breakdown

                        • Positive growth for both regular and diet CSDs
                          • Figure 8: Sales of carbonated soft drinks, by segment, 2013-23
                          • Figure 9: Total US sales and forecast of carbonated soft drinks, by segment, at current prices, 2013-23
                      • Market Perspective

                        • Sparkling water is the biggest threat to CSDs
                          • Diversification is the name of the game
                          • Market Factors

                            • A series of legal wins for big pop
                              • Will bottled water’s packaging crisis spill over to CSDs?
                                • Demographic changes dampen soda’s future
                                  • Figure 10: Distribution of US population by age, 2018-23
                              • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                • Brands succeed by being happy and small
                                  • Craft CSDs underwhelm
                                    • Cater to the alcoholic beverage drinking occasion
                                    • Company and Brand Sales of CSDs

                                      • Most major brands enjoy sales growth
                                          • Figure 11: Multi-outlet sales of regular carbonated soft drinks, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2018 and 2019
                                        • Diet CSDs stage a comeback
                                          • Figure 12: Multi-outlet sales of diet carbonated soft drinks, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2018 and 2019
                                      • What’s Working?

                                        • Coke becomes Feel Good Inc.
                                            • Figure 13: Average sentiment of Coca-Cola, across Instagram and Twitter, June 1, 2018-March 1, 2019
                                          • The diet CSD story: a name change, fun flavors, and consumers’ love of aspartame
                                              • Figure 14: Sales of diet carbonated soft drinks, 2013-18
                                            • Game on!
                                              • Thinking small
                                              • What’s Struggling?

                                                • Restaurants are dropping CSDs
                                                  • Figure 15: CSDs on menus, change in incidence and penetration, Q4 2015-Q4 2018
                                                  • Figure 16: AFH CSD consumption, October 2016-January 2019
                                                • Craft isn’t the CSD savior
                                                  • Go for fun over health
                                                  • What’s Next?

                                                    • CSDs can capitalize on falling alcohol consumption
                                                      • Botanicals are an opportunity for premium CSDs
                                                        • Using texture to provide experience
                                                        • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                          • Majority of consumers drink a variety of CSDs
                                                            • Nothing will bring lapsed consumers back
                                                              • Keep consumers engaged by embracing the treat occasion
                                                              • CSD Consumption

                                                                • Four out of five Americans drink CSDs
                                                                  • Figure 17: CSD consumption, January 2019
                                                                • CSD drinker demographic profiles
                                                                    • Figure 18: CSD drinker demographic profile, indexed against all CSD consumers, January 2019
                                                                    • Figure 19: CSD drinker demographic profile, indexed against all CSD consumers, January 2019
                                                                  • Most consumers drink multiple CSD varieties
                                                                    • Figure 20: Repertoire analysis, CSD consumption, January 2019
                                                                    • Figure 21: Repertoire analysis, CSD consumption, by gender and age, drink four or more types of CSDs, January 2019
                                                                • CSD Consumption Frequency

                                                                  • Diet cola is the most frequently consumed CSD
                                                                    • Figure 22: CSD consumption frequency, January 2019
                                                                  • Only slight variation in heavy and infrequent CSD consumer demos
                                                                    • Figure 23: CSD demographic profile by frequency of consumption, indexed against all CSD consumers, January 2019
                                                                • CSD Format Purchases

                                                                  • Opportunity to delight with fountain drinks
                                                                    • Figure 24: CSD format purchases, January 2019
                                                                    • Figure 25: CSD format purchases, any purchase, by CSD consumption frequency, January 2019
                                                                • Reasons for Drinking CSDs

                                                                  • Consumers view CSDs as tasty, refreshing treats
                                                                    • Figure 26: Reasons for drinking CSDs, by CSD consumption frequency, January 2019
                                                                    • Figure 27: Reasons for drinking CSDs, January 2019
                                                                  • CSDs fulfill a variety of needs for younger men
                                                                    • Figure 28: Reasons for drinking CSDs, by gender and age, January 2019
                                                                • Reasons for Not Drinking CSDs

                                                                  • Sugar is a top of mind consumer concern
                                                                    • Figure 29: Reasons for not drinking CSDs, January 2019
                                                                    • Figure 30: Figure 31: Reasons for not drinking CSDs, by age, January 2019
                                                                • Increased CSD Consumption Motivators

                                                                  • Say so long to lapsed consumers
                                                                    • Figure 32: Increased CSD consumption motivators, January 2019
                                                                  • Natural CSDs can keep some planned reducers in the market
                                                                    • Figure 33: Increased CSD consumption motivators, by CSD attitudes, January 2019
                                                                  • Flavor innovation excites heavy CSD consumers
                                                                    • Figure 34: Increased CSD consumption motivators, by CSD consumption frequency, January 2019
                                                                  • Healthy CSD as a time saver?
                                                                      • Figure 35: Increased CSD consumption motivators, by food and drink shopper segmentation, January 2019
                                                                  • CSD Flavor Interest

                                                                    • Moderate interest in flavor innovation
                                                                      • Figure 36: CSD flavor interest, January 2019
                                                                      • Figure 37: CSD flavor interest, by CSD consumption frequency, January 2019
                                                                    • Hispanic and Asian consumers drive interest in CSD flavors
                                                                      • Figure 38: CSD flavor interest, by race/ethnicity, January 2019
                                                                  • CSD Craving Satisfiers

                                                                    • Most lapsed consumers don’t get CSD cravings
                                                                      • Figure 39: CSD craving satisfiers, January 2019
                                                                  • CSD Attitudes

                                                                    • Heavy drinkers are highly brand loyal, but some may cut their CSD consumption
                                                                      • Figure 40: CSD attitudes, by CSD consumption frequency, January 2019
                                                                    • Risk of iGens dropping out of the market
                                                                      • Figure 41: CSD attitudes, January 2019
                                                                    • Midwesterners least concerned with CSD healthfulness
                                                                      • Figure 42: CSD attitudes, by region, January 2019
                                                                  • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                    • Data sources
                                                                      • Sales data
                                                                        • Fan chart forecast
                                                                          • Consumer survey data
                                                                            • Mintel Menu Insights
                                                                              • Purchase Intelligence
                                                                                • Mintel Market Sizes
                                                                                  • Mintel Food and Drink shopper segmentation
                                                                                    • Social media methodology
                                                                                      • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                        • Abbreviations
                                                                                        • Appendix – The Market

                                                                                            • Figure 43: Total US sales and forecast of carbonated soft drinks, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2012-22
                                                                                            • Figure 44: Total US sales and forecast of regular carbonated soft drinks, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2012-22
                                                                                            • Figure 45: Total US sales and forecast of diet carbonated soft drinks, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2012-22
                                                                                            • Figure 46: Total US retail sales of carbonated soft drinks, by channel, at current prices, 2013-18
                                                                                            • Figure 47: Total US retail sales of carbonated soft drinks, by channel, at current prices, 2016 and 2018
                                                                                        • Appendix – Key Players

                                                                                            • Figure 48: Multi-outlet sales of carbonated soft drinks, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2018 and 2019

                                                                                        Carbonated Soft Drinks - US - April 2019

                                                                                        US $4,395.00 (Excl.Tax)