Soft drinks market is one of the most saturated food markets. The manufacturers are constantly amazing their customers with a non-stop flow of new juices, sodas, popular energy shots and cold teas’ labels. During the period from August to December Mix-Research Company executed telephone survey among Moscow citizens with regards to their preferences in soft drinks.
Leaders of Moscow consumption became mineral and drinking water alongside with juice and soda. 79% of the respondents noted that used bottled water for drinking and cooking. This product is mostly popular among middle-aged customers (35-44) and people who care about their health and doubting the quality of tap water. Youngsters’ preferences are expectable, Pepsi generation chooses beverages similar to Pepsi in taste – buyers of 16-24 are the most frequent consumers of juices, nectars, cold tea and energy shots. Herewith, youngsters can’t be called adorers of kvass that is chosen by middle-aged consumers, mostly men.
Let’s have a look at specific nature of water consumption in Moscow. The respondents were asked to name main drivers of drinking water purchasing. Awareness of the brand is a prevailing factor for the customers of 35-44. Other important features for this group are the price and taste of the water itself. 15% of respondents of 25-34 supported the above point of view. Younger generation show rather a loyal attitude to the water taste and flavor – just 4% of respondents of 16 – 24 pay attention to these features. Taking into consideration the specific nature of drinking water and its grading – it is usually divided into soft, mild and strongly sparkling – Moscow consumers often make their choice basing mostly on this factor. Believing that Artesian water can hardly be spoiled most of the respondents confess that do not pay much attention to its composition and organic ingredients.
The most famous brands of mineral and drinking water are Aqua Minerale and Bon Aqua. 17% of water consumers recall these brands first, then name Shishkin Les and Essentuki (10%), Borzhomi and Svyatoy Istochnik (6%). Generally, among all the voluntary named brands Aqua Minerale and BonAqua are dominating (46% and 45% accordingly), followed by Essentuki (31%), Shishkin Les (29%), Borzhomi (26%) and Svyatoy Istochnik (22%). Biovita and Rosinka have not been recalled either at first or at the second inquiry.
In terms of consummation indices the traditional competition of the two leaders is evident with the first place (38%) owned by PepsiCo (Aqua Minerale brand), and the second one held by CocaCola’s BonAqua brand (37%). The Big Three is rounded by Shishkin Les (34%) by Shishkin Les Holding.
Under the madding tempo of modern life in toxic urban environment a customer strives for a healthy living. Most of the consumers choose juices believing that they are good for health. The remarkable fact is that the most strong drivers of the consumers’ choice here are the juice’s content and quantity of organic ingredients – 36% of respondents are very sensitive to these data (women and consumers of 45-60 mostly). Juices’ and nectars’ choice by the customers depends mostly on the brand awareness – 32% of the respondents name this feature as an important one. Within the consumers’ preferences analysis awareness of various juices brands has been indicated. The research considered both voluntary and aided awareness. The most famous brands in Moscow are Dobry (Multon, ZAO), J7 (Vimm-Bill-Dann, ОАО), Moya Semiya (Nidan Soki, ООО), Ya (Lebedyansky, ОАО) and Rich (Multon, ZAO). Consumption evaluation of brands gives very similar results which allow to conclude that the customers usually choose renowned brands. Moscow citizens chose juice of Dobry (45% of the respondents drank it no longer than a month ago), J7 (34%), Ya (23%), Rich (22%) and Moya Semiya (22%) brands.
Despite the popular wellness trend that is widening actively making every consumer evaluate products from the health point of view, 50% of the respondents confess that they still like sodas. ‘Bubbly’ is especially popular among youngsters – they buy such beverages several times a week (42% of respondents in this age group). The most of respondents consider the main purchasing driver the awareness of the brand – according to 44% of respondents. Taste and flavor are important for 25% of Moscow citizens. Composition and natural ingredients are important for 18% of respondents only, while as little as 8% make choice on the basis of their habits. The titles of popular soda brands are known to anyone and most of the respondents fail to denote the most famous one. First of all, consumers recall Coca-Cola – 38% of respondents name this brand. Then, almost twice as seldom (20%), Napitki iz Tchernogolovki are recalled – AquaLife products are very popular in Moscow and Moscow Region. Soviet alternatives to Cola and Pepsi are still strong in people's memory – 12% of the respondents in reply to ‘What soda brands do you know?’ name Baikal, Buratino, Tarkhun and Dyushes. Apparently, elder people prevail among the consumers recalling sweet soda of their childhood.
Coca-Cola is spontaneously recalled by 68% of consumers, Pepsi – by 47%, Fanta – by 33% and Sprite by 30%. 44 The top-selling brand CocaCola is the most frequently consumed soda as well (33% of respondents drinking soda), 18% keep loyalty to Napitki iz Tchernogolovki, the third place belongs to Laimon Fresh (GreenMe AG) with its 7%. The main Coca-Cola competitor – Pepsi – is preferred by as less as 5% of respondents.
Kvass (Bread Juice)
As with other soft beverages the kvass buyers are also driven by brand awareness – 48% of all the kvass buyers named this factor. Those who are driven by bread taste and flavor are in a minority (18%). However, this feature is very important for consumers of 25-34. Those who are influenced by health concerns make 15%. Women are especially careful at differentiating between natural kvass and chemical substitute. The most famous kvass in Moscow is Ochakovskiy (Ochakovo) – it was the first brand spontaneously named by 68% of respondents. Significantly less associations are arisen by Nikola Kvass by Deka (just 10% recall it after one mention. The third place belongs to Russky Dar (PepsiCo). Consumption rating hardly differs from awareness rating – Moscow respondents prefer to buy products they know.
The first attempt to launch cold tea as a new product failed while Russian consumers appeared not to be prepared to accept this beverage. Nowadays manufacturers are implementing another marketing strategy and promote their tea as a healthy alternative to effervescent beverages. Consumers buy a lot of tea – 29% of respondents drink it several times a week; 28% - several times a month. The choice of Moscow citizens is driven by the brand awareness as well as by the taste and flavor of the beverage. Younger generation (47% of respondent) pays attention to the brand awareness. Composition and organic ingredients take the third place. Herewith, women are characterized by more responsible approach to the choice of these beverages, than men. The modern market offers a rich variety of cold tea brands. However, similarly the previous years, Lipton Ice Tea by PepsiCo is the most famous brand among Moscow citizens (47% of respondents name it after first mention) and Neste (45% of Moscow buyers), manufactured by Coca-Cola for Nestle. Consumers are also acquainted with Ahmad tea brand, especially this is true for respondents older 35 years old; Jaffa Ice Tea by Vitmark-Ukraine and Caprice Ice Tea by Nidan. Considering the fact that Nestea was developed by Coca-Cola and Nestle, and Lipton became the result of PepsiCo and Uniliver cooperation, it is evident that two colossuses – Coca-Cola and PepsiCo – competition covers not only water and soda niches but also other segments.
An interesting situation is observed at energy shots market. Their main consumers are youngsters (16 – 24 years old). According to the polling data, 24% of young people drank these beverages within 30 days. One of the first companies who brought this product to Russia was Red Bull, going first at the list of the most famous brands, though it is the second one among the most frequently consumed energy shots (29% of respondents), yielding to Adrenaline Rush by PepsiCo (36% respondents). Coca-Cola doesn’t relinquish its competitor in this niche as well – 22% of youngsters name Burn brand first when recalling energy and sport beverages but only 2% often buy it at stores. Brand awareness influence the energy shot consumers a lot – especially women (41%). Fair price also plays a certain role, especially for women and youngsters.
Generally speaking, Moscow consumers’ behavior is predictable. Marketing campaigns of major players at such niches as drinking water, soda, cold tea and energy shots are rather successful, and a customer guided by the awareness of a brand or a manufacturer chooses more famous brands that in most cases belong to Coca-Cola and PepsiCo.