The Growth of the Soft Drinks Industry in Middle-Income Countries: Current Trends and Policy Implications in China and India

Perspectives in Public Health, July 2014 | Go to article overview

The Growth of the Soft Drinks Industry in Middle-Income Countries: Current Trends and Policy Implications in China and India


Rising rates of overweight and obesity in middle-income countries (MICs) are a priority for public health because of their role in the growth of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). In China, 30% of the total population are either overweight or obese,1 and nearly 10% of the total population are diabetic (with a further 15.5% being prediabetic),2 while rates of hypertension, dyslipidaemia and inflammation are also high.1 In India, 12% of the total population are either overweight or obese,4 and nearly 20% of the population have type 2 diabetes, meaning that the country has more people (about 50 million) with this disease than any other country.4

To date, insufficient research has focussed on the role of the soft drinks industry in its contribution to the growing obesity epidemic in MICs, despite there being rapid rises in soft drink consumption in these countries and them increasingly being priority markets for the industry.5

Soft DrinkS in China anD inDia: reCent trenDS

Of course, soft drinks are not solely responsible for the growth of obesity and diabetes rates in China and India, and it is important to note that the overall market category of 'soft drinks' does include a number of products (e.g. bottled waters) that aren't unhealthy. However, carbonates and energy/sports drinks - the majority of which are sugar-sweetened - still make up more than a third of the total global soft drinks market (approximately 175 of 465 billion litres in 2011).6 Moreover, while in the United States, total energy per capita and average energy density of beverages sold has decreased, in China, the opposite is true.7 Although diet carbonates are popular in higher- income countries (HICs), for example, in the United States, where diet colas account for one-third of all cola carbonates, they are far less popular and less easily available in India,8 where they remain a 'niche drink', accounting for less than 2% of cola carbonate volume sales.9,10

In China, Coca-Cola is the market leader with a total market share of 15.7% (compared to nearest rival PepsiCo's share of 4.5%). Coca-Cola is also the market leader in India, with a 2012 off- trade volume share of 24.8% (compared to that of domestic company Parle Biserli at 23.6% and PepsiCo's at 21.1%).6

There have been sharp increases in per capita consumption of soft drinks in China and India since the late 1990s. In China, annual per capita soft drink consumption by 2016 is predicted to be more than 10 times (76.8 L) higher than it was in 1997 (7.4 L). In India, per capita soft drink consumption by 2016 is predicted to be 13 times (15.7 L) higher than in 1997 (1.2 L).6

With consumption much higher in urban areas, soft drinks companies have been increasingly focussing their attentions on India's rural population,11 which makes up more than 70% of the total population. Obesity prevalence is considerably higher in urban areas, but rural populations have also experienced increases over the past 10 years.12 This is particularly concerning given that rural populations are still vastly underserved by healthcare when compared to urban areas.13

Soft drinks companies are consolidating their presence in MICs through investment in mass marketing, the establishment of professional organisations and through their participation in advocacy groups. Coca- Cola, for example, is one of the biggest spending companies in television and billboard advertising in both China and India.14,15 Also, in India, the Indian Beverage Association (IBA) has been set up and 'tasked with lobbying government on issues of taxation, industry guidelines and regulations and to defend itself against allegations from health activists and environmental campaigners'.16 Lastly, the US-China Business Council (USCBC) is an agency which lobbies for favourable market conditions between the two countries.17 Until recently, Coca-Cola CEO Muktar Kent was Chair of a USCBC Board which also included PepsiCo's CEO Indra Nooyi. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The Growth of the Soft Drinks Industry in Middle-Income Countries: Current Trends and Policy Implications in China and India
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.