This report focuses on the manufacture and wholesale of non-alcoholic beverages which include carbonated soft drinks, bottled water, energy drinks, sports drinks, cordials and concentrates, health and functional beverages and dairy and fruit blends. It includes comprehensive information on the size and state of the industry, the effect of the pandemic, sugar tax and other influencing factors, developments and corporate actions. There are profiles of 27 companies including major players such as Pioneer Foods, RFG and Clover, which dominate fruit juice production, Coca-Cola Beverages, which dominates the soft drink market, and niche players such as Red Bull, BOS and Pure Soda.
The Manufacture and Wholesale of Non-Alcoholic Beverages in South Africa
Beverage sales, which were negatively affected by the pandemic and associated liquor restrictions, began to recover in 2021. Producers report that energy drinks and functional (health) drinks are experiencing significant growth since the onset of the pandemic, while fruit juice exports continue to see marked growth despite challenges such as port delays and market access. The sugar tax has affected soft drink consumption and is likely behind significant price increases between January 2017 and November 2021.
While food and non-alcoholic beverages were considered essential industries and production was not interrupted during lockdown, many beverage producers’ sales were affected by the decline in the number of gatherings and events. Sales of mixers used with alcoholic beverages fell during the four liquor bans. While volumes and sales recovered sharply in 2021, some manufacturers say that production only recovered to pre-pandemic levels towards the end of 2021.
Sales of energy drinks are forecast to grow significantly faster than carbonated drinks. There is increasing demand for low or no-alcohol drink substitutes, low calorie and low sugar options, health drinks and for sustainable packaging, resulting in the launch of fruit juice blends in returnable glass bottles and canned water.