Description

With this report, you’ll gain insight into what consumers want from carbonated soft drink (CSD) brands. US CSD market performance is revealed alongside what matters most to CSD consumers when choosing what to pick off the shelf.

Below, we provide the key topics covered and offer a sample of the expertise this report offers.

Key Topics Covered

  • Types and frequency of CSDs consumed.
  • Factors considered when choosing a CSD.
  • Interest in CSD flavors.
  • Occasions best suited to CSD consumption.
  • Attitudes towards CSDs.

US Carbonated Soft Drink Market Overview

Consumer demand for carbonated soft drinks (CSDs) is back on the rise, with strong participation despite higher prices and health-focused priorities. The diet segment is set to outperform growth in regular sodas, offering guilt-free indulgence with low/zero calorie options. Yet, concerns over artificial sweeteners have sparked a surge in BFY alternatives to meet consumer needs.

CSD Consumer Statistics

Younger consumers seek variety in CSDs: Millennials and Gen Z are proving to be a key market for regular full-calorie soda and lemon/lime variations, with around half consuming these in the past three months. The numbers are lower for Gen X and older consumers, indicating that demographic targeting will be important.

Consumers want to reduce their consumption of CSDs but need help sticking to that goal. Almost half believe that CSDs are healthy when consumed in moderation, yet 59% are looking for healthier alternatives such as soft drinks with functional benefits from popular brands (see our US functional drinks 2023 market report).

Consumers enjoy pairing CSDs with meals. 66% of CSD drinkers enjoy the beverages with a meal, with 51% pairing CSDs with dinner and 49% pairing CSDs with lunch. Younger consumers (Gen Zs and Millennials) like pairing CSDs with snacks and alcohol more than older consumers.

Opportunity for CSD Brands

Consumers feel positive about the flavors on offer (explore further with our Trending Flavors in Non-Alcoholic Beverages 2023 Market Report). Four in ten consumers across generations enjoy citrus CSDs, with fruity and sweet flavor profiles appealing more to Gen Zs and Millennials. When considering new CSD flavors, brands can tap into the familiarity of popular flavor families that drive trust and trial, while still meeting the need for uniqueness.

For a complete analysis of opportunities in the US CSD industry, buy the full report. Alternatively, you may be interested in our Future of CSDs or Year of Innovation in CSDs global market reports.

Report Definition and Scope

Carbonated soft drinks are non-alcoholic beverages that have added carbonation. This includes beverages with a range of flavors, sweeteners and colors. Colas, noncolas, craft, natural and stevia-sweetened 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.

A number of brands are discussed within the above scope, including major players and more niche brands, such as PepsiCo and their redesign, Starry’s colorful branding, Coca-Cola’s innovative new partnership with Riot Games, and much more.

Additional Features Included in Your Report

Different Digital Formats: PDF for conveniently sharing with your team, PowerPoint for quickly including in your presentation, as well as an Infographic and an Excel Databook.

Mintel’s Clients Portal: Our portal offers instant access to actionable analysis and trends pieces relevant to your industry that are published almost daily. You can also browse for more market research reports.

Expert Analysis

This report, written by leading industry analyst Varchasvi, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends in the US carbonated soft drinks market.

Enjoying CSDs isn’t antithetical to consumers’ wellness aspirations, and while they want to see functional benefits and low calorie products, they don’t expect reformulations to be overtly healthy. Rather, brands can help consumers make CSDs an essential part of their desired lifestyles, acting as a reliable source of enjoyment and indulgence.

Varchasvi, Foodservice Analyst, Mintel Menu Insights

 

Varchasvi
Analyst, US Foodservice and Mintel Menu Insights

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • This Report looks at the following areas
        • Definition
          • Market context
          • Executive Summary

              • Top Takeaways
                • Consumer trends
                  • Taste is consumers’ core priority
                    • Figure 1: Top three CSD choice factors, 2023
                  • CSD occasions have room to grow
                    • Figure 2: Select CSD consumption occasions, 2023
                  • Classics are evergreen, but innovation is welcome
                    • Figure 3: CSD consumption – select CSD types, 2022-23
                  • Competitive strategies
                    • Market overview
                      • Figure 4: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of carbonated soft drinks, at current prices, 2018-28
                      • Figure 5: Carbonated soft drink outlook, 2023-28
                    • Opportunities
                      • Use familiar favorites to create unique flavor combinations
                        • Figure 6: CSD flavor interest – select flavors, 2023
                      • Grow meal, snack, and alcohol associations to stay relevant
                        • Figure 7: CSD consumption occasions – Select occasions, 2023
                      • Boost CSD perception through themes of indulgence, enjoyment
                        • Figure 8: Select CSD attitudes, 2023
                    • Market Size and Forecast

                      • CSDs near prepandemic levels of growth
                        • Figure 9: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of carbonated soft drinks, at current prices, 2018-28
                        • Figure 10: Total US sales and forecast of market, at current prices, 2018-28
                    • Segment Performance

                      • Diet segment set to double regular growth
                        • Figure 11: Total us retail sales and forecast of carbonated soft drinks, by segment, at current prices, 2018-23
                        • Figure 12: total us retail sales and forecast of carbonated soft drinks, by segment, at current prices, 2018-28
                      • Shopping habits are sticky
                        • Figure 13: Total US retail sales of carbonated soft drinks, by channel, at current prices, 2018
                        • Figure 14: Total US retail sales of carbonated soft drinks, by channel, at current prices, 2018-23
                    • Market Drivers

                      • Less than healthy CSD reputation waters down IARC-WHO aspartame announcement
                        • Inflation fatigue can linger beyond price hikes
                          • Figure 15: Select inflation behaviors, 2023
                        • BFY formulations crowd the market
                        • Market Share/Key Players

                          • Price increases across brands leaves leaderboard unchanged
                            • Figure 16: Multi-outlet sales of carbonated soft drinks, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2022 and 2023
                          • Company/brand sales by segment
                            • Nostalgia over novelty for sustained CSD interest
                              • Figure 17: Multi-outlet sales of regular carbonated soft drinks, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2022 and 2023
                            • Successful reformulations maintain brand loyalty
                              • Figure 18: Multi-outlet sales of diet carbonated soft drinks, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2022 and 2023
                          • Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

                            • CSDs beckon a new era with rebrands
                              • Figure 19: CSD rebrands and launches, 2023
                            • CSD brands seek new occasions with gaming, dining collaborations
                              • Figure 20: Coca-Cola Ultimate – Partnership with Riot games’ League of Legends, 2023
                              • Figure 21: Little caesars pineapple pair-up combo, 2023
                            • Coca-Cola creates emotional utility with novelty and mystery
                              • Figure 22: Coca-Cola creations lab launches, 2023
                          • The Carbonated Soft Drink Consumer – Fast Facts

                            • Younger consumers enjoy and seek variety in the CSD category.
                              • Carbonated soft drinks are a frequent indulgence for most consumers, and these habits will remain intact.
                                • Consumers primarily want CSDs to serve as a tasty treat.
                                  • Familiar and predominant flavor families are the most popular with consumers.
                                    • Consumers enjoy pairing CSDs with meals.
                                      • Consumers idealize a moderate approach to CSD consumption, but need help sticking to that goal.
                                      • CSD Consumption

                                        • Opportunities for innovation abound
                                          • Figure 23: CSD consumption, 2022-23
                                        • Young adults aren’t the only ones driving adoption of new innovations, flavors
                                          • Figure 24: CSD consumption, by generation, 2023
                                      • CSD Consumption Frequency

                                        • Growth in a saturated market will come from meeting new needs in new occasions
                                          • Figure 25: CSD consumption frequency, 2023
                                      • CSD Choice Factors

                                        • Consider the emotional and physical CSD experience
                                          • Figure 26: CSD choice factors, 2023
                                        • Younger consumers expect more from CSDs
                                          • Figure 27: CSD choice factors, 2023
                                      • CSD Flavor Interest

                                        • Bridge the gap between CSDs and health with flavor
                                          • Figure 28: CSD flavor interest, 2023
                                          • Figure 29: US Flavour landscape, carbonated soft drinks, 2023
                                        • Under 45s will reshape the flavor landscape
                                          • Figure 30: CSD flavor interest, 2023
                                      • CSD Consumption Occasions

                                        • Taste determines CSD choices
                                          • Figure 31: CSD consumption occasions, 2023
                                        • Make CSDs an essential part of snack breaks
                                          • Figure 32: CSD consumption occasions, by generation, 2023
                                      • CSD Attitudes

                                        • Guilt-free CSD treats can fit many occasions
                                          • Figure 33: CSD attitudes – Select items, 2023
                                        • Evolving lifestyle priorities call for brands to double down on ethics
                                          • Figure 34: CSD attitudes – Select items, by generation, 2023
                                        • Consumers like to align with brands that share their values
                                          • Figure 35: CSD attitudes – Choice factors, 2023
                                        • CSD brand loyalty is complicated for Gen Z, Millennials
                                          • Figure 36: CSD attitudes – Choice factors, by generation 2023
                                        • Consumers don’t need CSDs to be conventionally “healthy”
                                          • Figure 37: CSD attitudes – Health considerations, 2023
                                        • Gen Zs, Millennials fit CSDs into their holistic approach to health
                                          • Figure 38: CSD attitudes – Health considerations, by generation, 2023
                                      • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                        • Data sources
                                          • Sales data
                                            • Forecast
                                              • Consumer survey data
                                                • Abbreviations and terms
                                                  • Abbreviations
                                                  • Appendix – The Market

                                                      • Figure 39: Total US retail sales and forecast of carbonated soft drinks, at current prices, 2018-28
                                                      • Figure 40: Total US retail sales and forecast of carbonated soft drinks, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2018-28
                                                      • Figure 41: Total US retail sales and forecast of carbonated soft drinks, by segment, at current prices, 2018-28
                                                      • Figure 42: Total US retail sales of carbonated soft drinks, by segment, at current prices, 2021 and 2023
                                                      • Figure 43: Total US retail sales and forecast of regular carbonated soft drinks, at current prices, 2018-28
                                                      • Figure 44: Total US retail sales and forecast of regular carbonated soft drinks, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2018-28
                                                      • Figure 45: Total US retail sales and forecast of diet carbonated soft drinks, at current prices, 2018-28
                                                      • Figure 46: Figure xx: Total US retail sales and forecast of diet carbonated soft drinks, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2018-28
                                                  • Appendix – Companies and Brands

                                                      • Figure 47: Multi-outlet sales of carbonated soft drinks, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2022 and 2023
                                                      • Figure 48: Multi-outlet sales of regular carbonated soft drinks, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2022 and 2023
                                                      • Figure 49: Multi-outlet sales of diet carbonated soft drinks, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2022 and 2023
                                                  • Appendix – Retail Channel

                                                      • Figure 50: Total US retail sales of carbonated soft drinks, by channel, at current prices, 2018-23
                                                      • Figure 51: Total US retail sales of carbonated soft drinks, by channel, at current prices, 2021 and 2023
                                                      • Figure 52: US supermarket sales of carbonated soft drinks, at current prices, 2018-23
                                                      • Figure 53: US sales of carbonated soft drinks through other retail channels, at current prices, 2018-23

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