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Soft drinks in the health and wellness trend are proving to be popular in China and Japan, according to Nutraingredients.com, citing Datamonitor.

 The two countries may be at very different stages of development but consumers in both are showing an enthusiasm for healthy beverages.

 In China, where Datamonitor estimates that soft drinks will grow 14% (CAGR) over the next five years, the market research firm found that healthy drinks are leading lists of new launches.

 Of the 300 new soft drinks launched in China during 2009, more than half were juices while among the remainder, functional drinks and bottled water were well represented.

 According to Datamonitor, the popularity of healthy drinks is down to growing concern about health brought on by food scandals and the outbreak of epidemic diseases. Government campaigns to promote fruits and fruit-based drinks have also played an important role.

 Datamonitor analyst Saritha Pingali was quoted saying consumer consciousness and the government’s health campaigns can be attributed to the growth in demand for juices.

A similar trend for healthy drinks can be observed in Japan, even if the direction it has taken is slightly different.

In Japan, consumers are attracted to drinks carrying health claims such as “high vitamins”, “high calcium” and “high polyphenols, according to Gaurav Marchanda, a Datamonitor analyst and author of a new report on the Japanese soft drinks market. 

With its ageing population, a lot of product development is focused on appealing to the older generation. 

This has prompted the launch of products with traditional flavours like green tea as well as drinks containing ingredients to promote health and combat age-related disorders. Examples on the soft drink market include antioxidant vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, co-enzyme Q10 and glucosamine. — Source: Nutraingredients.com

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