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Fiji Time: 8:42 PM on Thursday 24 April

/ Front page / Business

Juice market up

Geraldine Panapasa
Monday, February 25, 2013

THE world's biggest soft-drinks maker, Coca-Cola, is on track to achieving 40 per cent of the juice market this year despite a drop in sales in Europe and China in the last quarter of 2012.

It was reported earlier sales worldwide were up by 3 per cent but profits, though up 13 per cent, were still below expectation at $US1.87billion ($F3.29b).

Coca-Cola Amatil Limited (CCA) spokeswoman Sally Loane said CCA's Fiji non-alcoholic beverage business, which represented less than 1 per cent of the CCA Group earnings, delivered improved volumes and earnings.

"This is a solid outcome given the impact of major floods and cyclones, and the impact on the local economy from lower tourist numbers," Ms Loane said from Australia.

"The Fiji non-alcoholic beverage business completed the installation of a new juice production line in July last year and launched a locally produced juice under the Minute Maid Pulpy brand.

"Building on the launch success, CCA is on track to achieving 40 per cent of the juice market. However, on a company-wide basis (the total CCA Group), it is expected that costs of materials will be lower this year than last year.

"We expect the full year beverage cost of goods sold per unit case to be 2.5-3 per cent on a constant currency basis."

On the issue of dealing with pressures from the health sector for people to minimise the intake of soft drinks and carbonated drinks, Ms Loane said given the positive company performance locally, there was no doubt consumers were buying more low and no-sugar beverages.

"In Australia, CCA is the largest market.

"We produce more than 250 low and no sugar stock keeping units (SKUs) or formats and packs of all beverages in our portfolio which represents more than one third of our volumes," she said.

Ms Loane said low and no-sugar beverages continued to be a high growth part of the company's portfolio growing about three times the rate of sugar beverages last year — while portion control packs (250ml and 300ml packs) are growing by 30 per cent per annum.