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    Beverage Market Poised to Reach Nearly $100 Billion by 2009: Report

    CHICAGO - The non-alcoholic beverage market is expected to reach $79 billion by the end of 2004, registering an increase of 20 percent during 1999 to 2004, according to a new report from Mintel. By 2009, the market could be worth $98.2 billion, the report suggests.

    CHICAGO - The non-alcoholic beverage market is expected to reach $79 billion by the end of 2004, registering an increase of 20 percent during 1999 to 2004, according to a new report from Mintel. By 2009, the market could be worth $98.2 billion, the report suggests.

    Carbonated soft drinks, which represent the biggest segment of the market by consumption and dollar sales, have seen minimal sales growth.

    The primary growth drivers are bottled water and sports/energy drinks, which account for 10 percent and 6 percent of the market, respectively. Mintel expects the sports and energy drinks segment to experience growth of 18.4 percent in 2004. Bottled water, meanwhile, should experience about 7.9 percent growth.

    Health trends such as the low-carb diet and using foods and drinks to address specific health concerns have become driving factors in new product development, the report notes. In fact, some 80 percent of the volume growth in the non-carbonated beverage market in 2003 was attributed to products with health claims.

    Looking ahead, the bulk of growth in the non-alcoholic beverage market is expected to come from innovation. Major companies are launching line extensions that vary in flavors, health benefits, and product packaging.

    One of the latest examples comes from Pepsi-Cola North America, which yesterday announced it would launch two new soft drinks this year for brief, "in-and-out" plays. The first, Mountain Dew Pitch Black, will launch in late August and stay on store shelves through Halloween. It combines the taste of Mountain Dew with a blast of black grape flavor. Pepsi Holiday Spice -- Pepsi-Cola with a spicy finish of ginger and cinnamon -- will hit stores Nov. 1 for an eight-week appearance through the end of the year.

    Future growth-driving segments in the industry, according to Mintel, are likely to include hybrid beverages, such as Juice & Tea by Ocean Spray, and gap-filling categories such as nutraceutical energy drinks and enhanced waters.

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