The market of sweet carbonated drinks: results of the 3rd quarter of 2023

04 December 2023

According to the Romir Unified Data Panel, the sweet soda market has almost recovered this year after the withdrawal of global brands from the Russian market in 2022. Moreover, last year's changes in the market gave an impetus to the development of local brands and tastes. 

If we compare the results of the 3rd quarter of this year with the same period two years ago, then there is an increase in the audience by 3% – from 65.2% to 68.2%. Compared to the 3rd quarter of last year, penetration increased by 1.7%. Even the growth over the year can be considered significant, although 2022 turned out to be a crisis year for the category.

Together with the audience, the frequency of purchases of the category has increased, which together may indicate a market recovery. So, in the 3rd quarter of 2023, consumers began to buy sugary carbonated drinks more often than in 2022, but still not as often as in 2021. Over the year, the frequency of purchases increased by almost 20%, offsetting the recession, but still 5.6% behind the figures of two years ago.

The average receipt for the purchase of sweet soda in the 3rd quarter of this year amounted to 92 rubles, which is 4% less than a year earlier, but 18% more than in 2021. 

We should also focus on the beverage sales channels. Although E-com is a small channel for the category, it has shown significant positive development dynamics in two years. Thus, compared to the 3rd quarter of 2021, in the 3rd quarter of 2023, the number of buyers of sweet carbonated water increased from 3.9% to 10.2%. Other indicators also increased: the frequency of purchases increased by 22.0%; the average receipt increased by 22.6%.

Rather, sales of sugary carbonated drinks are developing positively in such channels as hard discounters and alcoholics. Compared to the 3rd quarter of last year, in the same period of the current year, the frequency of soda purchases in alcoholics has significantly increased (+61.3%). In this channel, the average check in the category has increased by 32.2% in two years. 

Hypermarkets, on the contrary, generally show negative dynamics in the category. Although the frequency of purchases in the current year has almost recovered compared to 2021, the audience buying sugary carbonated drinks in the channel decreased from 27.0% in the 3rd quarter of 2021 to 19.4% in 2023. Similarly, the volume purchased per customer decreased from 7.5 liters per quarter to 6.4 liters per quarter. 

"The sweet soda category is one of the most dynamic and competitive segments of the beverage market. Recently, we have seen significant changes in consumer preferences and an expansion of the product range due to the emergence of new local brands. This creates unique challenges for manufacturers who are striving to maintain their market share and attract new customers.

According to recent research, more than a third of buyers are ready to replace a brand that is missing from the shelf with another brand with a similar taste. This highlights the importance of a variety of flavors in each brand's portfolio and the need for manufacturers to be flexible and responsive to changes in consumer preferences.

Our Consumer Dashboard provides unique data that allows you to analyze consumer behavior in this category. Given the spontaneous nature of purchases in this segment, only constant monitoring, including non–domestic consumption, can give a complete picture of current trends and consumer preferences," comments Margarita Abramkina, Director of Customer Relations at Romir, on the market situation.

* The Romir Consumer Scan Panel is based on consumption data from 40,000 Russians, 15,000 households in 220 cities with a population of 10,000 people or more, representing the purchasing and consumer behavior of residents of Russian cities. The panel members scan the barcodes of all purchased goods. The online scan data is sent to the panel's database. The sample is representative of the adult urban population of 10 thousand cities.

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