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Is South Africa’s G&T lifestyle trend keeping the Soft Drinks market flowing?

Is South Africa’s G&T lifestyle trend keeping the Soft Drinks market flowing?

Given the sluggish economy and market growth, Carbonated Soft Drinks manufacturers and distributors have started to explore innovative ways of boosting industry sales. 


With craft gin being ‘all the rage’, and more than 250 craft gins now available in South Africa, many players have launched exotic-flavoured soft drink and tonic water variants to meet changing consumer tastes. 

Insight Survey’s latest Carbonated Soft Drinks Industry Landscape Report 2020 carefully unfolds the Carbonated Soft Drinks landscape in South Africa based on the latest information and research. It describes the relevant global and local market trends, drivers and restraints and presents an objective insight into the South African Carbonated Soft Drinks industry environment, market dynamics, and its future. Globally, the Carbonated Soft Drinks market size is estimated to be US$402.3 billion in 2020, as illustrated in the graph below. 

The market is predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.4% between 2020 and 2023. 

Interestingly, in terms of global revenue per capita, it is expected that US$54 per person will be generated in 2020, while per capita consumption is expected to reach 28.1 litres. The South African Carbonated Soft Drinks market increased at compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.9% between 2014 and 2019, and, is forecast to grow at a slightly lower CAGR of 1.8%, over the 2020 to 2024 forecast period. 

However, the market continues to face significant challenges that include the South African economy, sugar tax and consumers that are becoming increasingly health conscious. In response to these challenges, manufacturers have developed a variety of innovative, exotic flavours that are trying to appeal to a younger, millennial and female target market, in order to drive industry volumes. 

These include low-sugar ingredients, such as cinnamon and ginger. As an example, a local manufacturer has launched an alternative Carbonated Soft Drinks product range with exotic flavours such as juniper, cranberry, cucumber and lime, and Seville orange, amongst others. 

In line with the global trend, the popularity of craft tonic water has grown significantly, primarily driven by the booming South African craft gin market. This has become increasingly popular amongst consumers in pubs, clubs, and at home. It appears that gin is not a passing fad, and is still trending in South Africa, with players introducing local gin ranges infused with fynbos botanicals. 

Another local soft drinks producer has launched a variety of flavoured tonic water variants such as Blue Tonic, Grapefruit Tonic and Pink Tonic. The combination of these flavoured tonic waters and gin has created a new trend where brands are emphasising cocktail recipes, pairing suggestions and mixology ideas for consumers. Fever-Tree have also recently launched their premium mixer range into the South African Market. 

Other manufacturers, for example, currently offer exotic flavours as part of their existing Finest Indian Tonic Water product range, with ingredients that include natural quinine, citrus fruit extracts, and Indian spices such as cardamom and star anise. 

Given the capricious nature of consumers (especially the millennial segment), it is becoming crucial for key market players to stay abreast of the latest developments within the industry, to ensure they meet the fluid needs of consumers.

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