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US Carbonated Soft Drinks market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Carbonated Soft Drinks market, its consumers and the major players who make up that market.

Market

Point of sale market data

In conjunction with IRi, extensive point of sale data shows you what consumers are spending their money on

Market Size

How big is the market today and what is our 5 year forecast? Includes both best & worst case scenarios

Market Segmentation

What are the different segments within the market and how are those individual segments performing?

Consumer

Consumer behaviors

What are consumers looking for, what drives their buying habits and what are their main purchase influencers?

Demographic breakdown

From iGen & Millennials to Baby Boomers & beyond. Who is spending money and what are they spending it on?

Representative sample

We gather our data from real-world consumers, selected to accurately reflect precise global demographics

Players

Company strategy

What are the key players doing, what has been successful for them and what was their marketing spend?

Product innovation

Using data from our Global New Product Database, what products were launched and how well were they perceived?

Opportunities

What happens next, which areas are likely to experience growth and what opportunities exist within the market?

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Mimi Bonnett, a leading analyst in the Food & Drink sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The mature $36.2 billion CSD (carbonated soft drink) market faces competition from RTD (ready to drink) coffees, energy drinks, sparkling waters, and BFY (better-for-you) options. Growth opportunities lie in targeting the occasions when CSDs offer unique benefits and focusing on functional and aspirational qualities that set these apart from other drinks. Focusing on key demographics such as 18-34 year olds and parents will also be essential, as will developing new products such as craft/premium CSDs with natural sweeteners, new flavors, and functional benefits. Mimi Bonnett
Director - Food & Drink, Foodservice

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

This report discusses the following key topics:

Definition

For the purposes of this Report, Mintel has used the following definition:

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

Excluded from this Report are flavored and unflavored sparkling water brands such as Perrier, carbonated energy drinks such as Red Bull, and alcoholic beverages. Sales of carbonated beverages through fountains and foodservice (restaurants, cafeterias, food trucks) are also excluded.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • On-going challenges limit growth in $36.2 billion CSD market
          • Figure 1: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of carbonated soft drinks, at current prices, 2012-22
        • The issues
          • Diet soda faces on-going challenges and continues to lose share
            • Figure 2: Total US retail sales of carbonated soft drinks, by segment, at current prices, 2015 and 2017
          • Still beverages are go-to drinks for most everyday occasions
            • Figure 3: Occasion for beverage consumption, February 2018
          • The opportunities
            • High market penetration and engagement of 18-34 year olds and parents
              • Figure 4: Carbonated soft drinks consumed in past three months, for those 18-34 and parents, February 2018
            • CSD usage climbs on weekends, for celebrations, and for treats
              • Figure 5: Occasion for beverage consumption, February 2018
            • Ideal CSD is foremost “refreshing,” but also associated with aspirational qualities
              • Figure 6: Qualities of ideal CSD, February 2018
            • Quest for new tastes and interest in craft CSDs from big brands
              • Figure 7: Attitudes toward flavors and craft sodas, for 18-34 year olds and parents, February 2018
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Little growth in mature, crowded CSD market
                • Regular carbonated soft drinks are the larger, more stable segment
                  • Obesity and taxes hurt CSD sales, while economic factors lift them
                  • Market Size and Forecast

                    • Growth dips in 2017 and forecast shows little growth through 2022
                      • Figure 8: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of carbonated soft drinks, at current prices, 2012-22
                      • Figure 9: Total US retail sales and forecast of carbonated soft drinks, at current prices, 2012-22
                  • Market Breakdown

                    • Regular soft drinks the larger, faster-growing segment
                      • Figure 10: Market share of carbonated soft drinks, 2017
                      • Figure 11: Total US retail sales of carbonated soft drinks, by segment, at current prices, 2015 and 2017
                    • Sales down for diet CSDs, while regular CSDs hold ground
                      • Figure 12: Total US retail sales and forecast of carbonated soft drinks by segment, at current prices, 2012-22
                    • “Other” retailers account for almost half of retail sales
                      • Figure 13: Total US retail sales of carbonated soft drinks, by channel, at current prices, 2015 and 2017
                  • Market Perspective

                    • Bottled water sales climb, reflecting consumer quest for BFY drinks
                      • Figure 14: Total US retail sales and forecast of bottled water, at current prices, 2012-22
                    • Coffee and tea – including new cold RTD brew – compete with soda
                      • Energy drinks continue to climb and are popular with males 18-34
                        • Juice drinks offer natural alternatives to CSDs
                          • Hybrid drinks offer competition, but also potential opportunity
                            • At-home carbonation offers low-cost, eco-friendly alternative
                              • Figure 15: Sodastream infomercial, November 2017
                          • Market Factors

                            • Obesity concerns leading consumers away from CSDs
                              • Sin taxes raise health issues and increase prices on CSDs
                                • Disposable income and consumer confidence can shape CSD spending
                                  • Figure 16: Consumer confidence and unemployment, 2000-February 2018
                                • Younger consumers, including 18-34 year olds, are increasingly diverse
                                  • Figure 17: US population aged 18+, by age, 2013-23
                                  • Figure 18: Population by race and Hispanic origin, 2013-23
                                  • Figure 19: Distribution of population, by age, race and Hispanic origin, 2018
                              • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                • Two of the three largest CSD suppliers saw MULO sales grow in 2017
                                  • Coca-Cola and Dr Pepper/Snapple promote core brands, revamp others
                                    • Private label sales fall, while “other” suppliers innovate and build share
                                    • Brand Sales of Carbonated Soft Drinks

                                      • Coca-Cola and Dr Pepper/Snapple build share
                                        • Pepsi continues to struggle, but rolls out new ad campaign in 2018
                                          • Private label sales fall, as retailers shift focus to bottled water
                                            • Niche suppliers do well as “others” grow sales from a small base
                                              • Figure 20: Multi -outlet sales of carbonated soft drinks, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2016 and 2017
                                          • What’s Working?

                                              • Multi-platform marketing suggests there’s a Coke for everyone
                                                • Figure 21: Coke Super Bowl ad, “The Wonder of Us,” February 2018
                                              • Connecting communities through celebration
                                                • Figure 22: Coca-Cola “Food Feuds,” February 2018
                                              • Dr Pepper/Snapple grows share with Dr Pepper, Canada Dry
                                                • Figure 23: Dr Pepper, “Lil Sweet in a Cake,” February 2018
                                                • Figure 24: Canada Dry, “Busy is a 4-Letter Word,” August 2017
                                            • What’s Struggling?

                                              • Diet sodas continue to struggle, although sales stagnate rather than fall
                                                • Pepsi Cola loses market share, but launches major campaign in 2018
                                                  • Figure 25: Pepsi “Generations,” February 2018
                                                  • Figure 26: Pepsi, “Paint the world blue,” March 2018
                                              • What’s Next?

                                                • Potential reinvigoration of diet soda category, as Coke gets proactive
                                                  • Figure 27: Diet Coke, “Like What You Like/Because I Can,” February 2018
                                                  • Figure 28: Diet Coke, “Twisted Mango,” February 2018
                                                • Rebranding of Coca-Cola Zero with refreshed look and new taste
                                                  • Figure 29: Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, January 2018
                                                • Expanded craft/premium CSDs from major suppliers
                                                  • Health and digestive benefits in ginger ale and other natural craft sodas
                                                    • Natural craft CSDs with floral essences, botanicals, sophisticated tastes
                                                    • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                      • Consumption is high, especially among younger adults and parents
                                                        • CSDs widely used on weekends, special occasions and as treats
                                                          • “Refreshing” is top quality sought in CSDs, but many others follow
                                                            • Dedicated regular CSD and diet CSD users have distinct profiles
                                                              • Brand allegiance is fairly strong, but lower among younger consumers
                                                                • Consumers favor sweeteners with a more natural profile
                                                                  • Majority seek familiar tastes, but interest fairly high for craft CSDs
                                                                  • Consumption of Carbonated Drinks

                                                                    • Vast majority enjoy a range of CSDs
                                                                      • Figure 30: Carbonated drinks consumed in past three months, February 2018
                                                                    • Younger consumers enjoy more regular CSDs, older ones turn to diet
                                                                      • Figure 31: Carbonated soft drinks consumed in past three months, by age, February 2018
                                                                    • Younger adults also over index for other carbonated drinks
                                                                      • Figure 32: Non-CSD carbonated drinks consumed in past three months, by age, February 2018
                                                                    • More affluent HHs show preference for low calorie, natural CSDs
                                                                      • Figure 33: Carbonated soft drinks consumed in past three months, by household income, February 2018
                                                                      • Figure 34: Non-CSD carbonated drinks consumed in past three months, by household income, February 2018
                                                                    • Parents consume a greater number, wider range of CSDs
                                                                      • Figure 35: Consumption of regular cola and other soft drinks, for children aged 6-11
                                                                      • Figure 36: Consumption of regular cola and other soft drinks, for teens aged 12-17
                                                                      • Figure 37: Carbonated soft drinks consumed in past three months, by parental status, February 2018
                                                                      • Figure 38: Non-CSD carbonated drinks consumed in past three months, by parental status, February 2018
                                                                    • Black consumers drink more regular CSDs, White consumers seek low-sugar options
                                                                      • Figure 39: Carbonated soft drinks consumed in past three months, by race, February 2018
                                                                      • Figure 40: Non-CSD carbonated drinks consumed in past three months, by race, February 2018
                                                                    • Hispanics over index for natural and craft sodas
                                                                      • Figure 41: Carbonated soft drinks consumed in past three months, by Hispanic origin, February 2018
                                                                  • Consumption Occasions

                                                                    • CSD usage climbs on weekends, at celebrations, and as treats
                                                                        • Figure 42: Occasion for beverage consumption, Part I, February 2018
                                                                        • Figure 43: Occasion for beverage consumption, Part II, February 2018
                                                                      • 18-34 year olds embrace regular and craft CSDs for special occasions
                                                                        • Figure 44: Occasion for CSD consumption, by age, February 2018
                                                                      • Less affluent consumers favor regular and craft CSDs for celebrations and treats
                                                                        • Figure 45: Occasion for CSD consumption, by household income, February 2018
                                                                      • Parents post high usage of CSDs for special occasions
                                                                        • Figure 46: Occasion for CSD consumption, by parental status, February 2018
                                                                    • Qualities Sought in Ideal CSD

                                                                      • Ideal CSD is above all “refreshing,” and more
                                                                        • Figure 47: Qualities of ideal CSD, February 2018
                                                                      • Refreshment is key quality across age brackets
                                                                        • Figure 48: Qualities of ideal CSD, by age, February 2018
                                                                      • Less affluent consumers associate CSDs with more aspirational qualities
                                                                        • Figure 49: Qualities of ideal CSD, by household income, February 2018
                                                                      • Refreshment key for nonparents, parents seek energy and indulgence
                                                                        • Figure 50: Qualities of ideal CSD, by parental status, February 2018
                                                                      • Black consumers desire a range of positive qualities
                                                                        • Figure 51: Qualities of ideal CSD, by race, February 2018
                                                                    • CSD Preferences in Terms of Type and Brand

                                                                      • Dedicated regular CSD users index somewhat younger and less affluent
                                                                        • Figure 52: Mostly drink regular CSDs, by age, gender, HH income, February 2018
                                                                      • Staunch diet CSD users tend to be older, female, and more affluent
                                                                        • Figure 53: Mostly drink diet CSDs, by age, gender, HH income, February 2018
                                                                      • Older consumers less likely to switch types or look at type of sweetener
                                                                        • Figure 54: CSD preferences, by age, February 2018
                                                                      • Women trade less between CSD types, pay more attention to sweeteners
                                                                        • Figure 55: CSD preferences, by gender, February 2018
                                                                      • About half of consumers report brand allegiance
                                                                        • Figure 56: CSD preferences related to brand, by age and household income, February 2018
                                                                    • Types of Sweeteners in CSDs

                                                                      • Consumers favor sweeteners with a more natural profile
                                                                          • Figure 57: Types of sweeteners preferred, February 2018
                                                                        • Consumer age impacts sweetener preference
                                                                          • Figure 58: Most appealing sweetener in CSDs, by age, February 2018
                                                                        • More natural sweetener options favored by both men and women
                                                                          • Figure 59: Most appealing sweetener in CSDs, by gender, February 2018
                                                                        • Stevia stands out as a preferred sweetener of more affluent consumers
                                                                          • Figure 60: Most appealing sweetener in CSDs, by household income February 2018
                                                                      • Attitudes toward Flavors, Craft Sodas, and Taxes

                                                                        • Majority seek familiar tastes, but interest fairly high in new craft CSDs
                                                                          • Figure 61: Attitudes toward flavors, craft sodas, and sugar taxes, February 2018
                                                                        • Younger consumers more open to new flavors and craft/premium CSDs
                                                                          • Figure 62: Attitudes toward flavors, craft sodas, and sugar taxes, by age, February 2018
                                                                        • Parents open to new CSDs, but may cut back more if faced with tax
                                                                          • Figure 63: Attitudes toward flavors, craft sodas and sugar taxes, by parental status, February 2018
                                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                        • Data sources
                                                                          • Sales data
                                                                            • Fan chart forecast
                                                                              • Consumer survey data
                                                                                • Direct marketing creative
                                                                                  • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                    • Abbreviations
                                                                                    • Appendix – Market

                                                                                        • Figure 64: Total US retail sales and forecast of carbonated soft drinks, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2012-22
                                                                                        • Figure 65: Total US sales and forecast of regular soft drinks, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2012-22
                                                                                        • Figure 66: Total US sales and forecast of diet soft drinks, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2012-22
                                                                                        • Figure 67: Total US retail sales of carbonated soft drinks, by retail channel, at current prices, 2012-17
                                                                                    • Appendix – Key Players

                                                                                        • Figure 68: MULO sales of regular soft drinks by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2016 and 2017
                                                                                        • Figure 69: MULO sales of diet soft drinks by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2016 and 2017
                                                                                    • Appendix – Consumer

                                                                                        • Figure 70: Number of glasses of regular cola soft drinks in the past week, for children 6-11
                                                                                        • Figure 71: Number of glasses non-cola soft drinks in the past week, for children 6-11
                                                                                        • Figure 72: Number of glasses of regular cola soft drinks in the past week, for teens 12-17
                                                                                        • Figure 73: Number of glasses of other regular soft drinks in the past week, for teens 12-17
                                                                                        • Figure 74: Number of glasses of diet cola soft drinks in the past week, for teens 12-17
                                                                                        • Figure 75: Number of glasses of regular cola soft drinks in the past week, for teens 12-17