Christmas and New Year are the high season for beverage producers, with high-proof drinks in particular selling well over this period. It is not just in the festive season that alcohol is drunk, though: beer, schnapps and the like are enjoying increasing demand throughout the year. According to Mordor Intelligence, the global market for alcoholic beverages is set to grow by 3.1% p.a. between 2019 and 2024, although the industry has long since had more to offer. Thirst-quenchers with added benefits, known as functional beverages, are particularly popular among consumers. These are non-alcoholic drinks that are reckoned to have stimulating effects or be good for the health. The experts anticipate that the market for isotonic and probiotic beverages and energy drinks will climb to USDbn 208.1 by 2024, equivalent to an average annual growth rate of 8.7%.
To ensure they remain up to date, producers are constantly trying to develop new products as the industry seeks to respond to changing consumption and nutritional habits of consumers. According to a research report by Research and Markets, the market for plant-based beverages has particular potential. The analysts expect an annual growth rate of an above-average 12% to USDbn 19.7 by 2023. Industry giant Coca-Cola has spotted the trend early: last year it launched "AdeZ", a plant-based fruit cocktail which is being pitched on the market as part of a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. View more information on investment solutions on the topic “The beverage industry: Acquiring a taste for it”.
Cheers to growth from the beer industry as well. In 2018 each Swiss citizen consumed 55 litres of the alcoholic hop drink, more than in both of the previous two years. According to the Kirin Institute of Food and Lifestyle, some 177 billion litres of beer are drunk across the world each year, which equates to a consumption of over 5,600 litres per second. And the trend curve continues to point upwards: forecasts suggest that the beer market will grow by an annual 5.5 per cent to USDbn 805 by 2024. Changes in lifestyle, rapid urbanisation and rising disposable income are the factors indicated by experts as drivers for the global beer market. This is boosted by the introduction of new ingredients and innovative flavours, which are finding increasing resonance worldwide – think "craft beer".
The high demand for alcohol is driven first and foremost by emerging economic powers such as China and India, which also have large populations. Traditional thirst-quenchers such as water and fruit juices, however, are similarly enjoying rising popularity, while soft drinks containing sugar are lagging further and further behind. Sales of the German mineral water industry, for instance, climbed from EURbn 2.8 to EURbn 3.6 between 2002 and 2018. According to market researchers, in 2019 every single European will drink around 101.8 litres of mineral water on average, spending EUR 67.45 per head to do so. In the USA, too, demand for the "blue gold" is rising. According to a survey by the International Bottled Water Association at the start of this year, more than seven out of ten US citizens now prefer still or sparkling water as a non-alcoholic beverage. This represents an increase of 9 per cent on 2018.