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Fizzy soft drinks, which make up the largest chunk of the beverages market in the country, are set to report decent growth in the March quarter—helped by an early summer, improved mobility and increased consumption, according to data by Bizom.

“The January-March 2021 performance for beverages is looking very positive driven by a solid build-up of carbonated drinks in kiranas which is expected to hit 9-10% growth in this quarter," said Bizom, a retail intelligence platform that works with fast moving consumer goods firms and millions of kiranas to track sales.

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Packaged fruit and health juices are showing a de-growth of 6% between January and March 2021. But this is expected to turn around quickly as there is likely to be an increase in their reach to kiranas in the March quarter. Packaged water too is showing a turnaround in the March quarter and is expected to grow 1.6%.

The beverages category that sees strong sales during peak summer was disrupted as India moved into a prolonged lockdown last year. In the aftermath of curbs, consumers took to drinking more fizzy drinks at home, while sales of bottled water and juices that rely on out-of-home consumption were impacted significantly.

Bizom chief marketing officer Akshay D’Souza said carbonated drinks that had fallen out of favour in the years prior to the pandemic have made a comeback as consumers are drinking these to “feel good".

“The other categories seem slightly behind carbonated drinks right now but it’s a matter of time before their consumption starts to soar. With schools, colleges and businesses increasingly returning to in-person, there are some strong tailwinds ahead for this sector to drive consumption even higher in the upcoming quarter and we can expect a stellar quarter ahead," said D’Souza.

Coca-Cola India said its core brands of sparkling drinks are gaining strength in the market. “Presently, core sparkling leadership brands are gaining strength. Juices (both indulgence and functional) and hydration categories are meeting consumer demands for refreshment and energy successfully. We have garnered good momentum in H22020 and believe credible differentiation is key to win in the long term," said Sanket Ray, president, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia.


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