BMi has released its research on the RTD Sports Drinks market in South Africa. RTD sports drinks are defined as primarily consisting of water, carbohydrates and electrolytes (sodium, chloride and potassium), designed to assist the body with replacing fluid and electrolytes.
The category recorded a decline in volume during 2011, due to supply and distribution challenges especially in the last quarter. This followed reasonable growth in 2010 which was owed to both the soccer World Cup drive and recovery after the 2009 recession.
Despite the decrease in volume, the category gained value in 2009 and 2010, which was mainly driven by significant price increases. All other years were on par or below inflation increase in prices. The category is particularly limited in terms of volumes, with players operating in the sports industry and impulse trade. Marketing strategies generally have a category effect, as price concerns seem to overrule brand loyalty
The expectation is that sports drinks will be a focus in 2012, with fresh marketing activities aimed at regaining brand presence. Price increase will most likely revert to historic trends.
On a regional basis, the three dominant provinces remain Gauteng, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. Historically, there have been very limited exports on sports drinks and this trend persisted in 2011. All other channels remained static with marginal changes. There is a reasonably strong presence of sports drinks in garage forecourts, sports clubs and clubhouses, which drives the volume.
There has been some volume changeover to larger pack sizes, possibly used for at-home consumption. This includes the 1.5 litre pack introduced a few years ago, which has grown in popularity, representing a different facet of consumption. The packaging demand is dominated by PET bottles. There was some minor usage of glass and cans in recent years, but some producers have changed to PET, from alternative packaging types. The 500 ml PET pack is still very dominant and most players follow this format. Bigger volume bottles such as the 750 ml and 1.5 litre are still relatively small in the market.
Note: Excludes exports. Percentages may not add up to 100%, due to rounding.
BMi Research has more than 30 years' experience in the industry across a wide range of methodologies and markets. From consumer to industrial research, both quantitative and qualitative, it offers total market quantification for 140 CPG categories. Market quantification involves sizing up markets annually to see volume, value and consumption trends. The service is available for most food, beverage, confectionery and snack products.
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