The Australian beverages industry saw volumes fall in the fourth quarter of 2020 with juice the only category to report modest growth.

Overall, beverage volumes fell by 4.2 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to the same quarter in 2019.

This is according to GlobalData’s report, Australia Beverages Consumption Trends and Forecasts Tracker, Q4, which includes dairy and soy drinks, soft drinks, hot drinks, and alcoholic beverages.

The report revealed that soft drinks (excluding bulk/HOD water), which is the second largest sector among all beverages, posted the strongest year on year decline of 7.2 per cent during the quarter.

Among soft drink categories, energy drinks and carbonates fell sharply with year-on-year decline rates of 12.8 per cent and 11.6 per cent, respectively.

Hot drinks, which is the largest sector accounting for 33.2 per cent of total beverage volumes, fell by just 1.7 per cent.

Juice was the only category to grow, albeit modestly at 1.6 per cent over the same period.

Ravi Teja, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, says: “The Juice category’s zero added sugar attribute is hailed as the major factor for the category, being the only bright spot amid the falling soft drink volumes. Additionally, with health taking centerstage in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, juice enjoyed a favorable perception among consumers.” 

Sales of flavoured milk and drinking yoghurt grew by 2.2 per cent and 0.6 per cent respectively. The combined volume of dairy and soy drinks, and milk alternatives fell by 3.2 per cent over the quarter.

“The beverages industry in Australia will recover in 2021 with a revival of volumes across sectors, led by alcoholic beverages, which will grow the strongest at 5.2 per cent, followed by hot drinks at 4.1 per cent,” said Teja.

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