Soft drinks are particularly popular in Mexico, Denmark, the United States and the United Kingdom. Here, the proportion of people who regularly reach for this type of drink is particularly high. This is shown in the following chart based on data from Statista Consumer Insights. In Germany, one in two of those surveyed said they regularly consume soft drinks. While in Japan, the option is less popular: under a third of respondents regularly drink beverages such as Coke, Sprite or Fanta.
Non-alcoholic are often referred to as soft drinks. In addition to soft drinks, the soft drinks category also includes juices and juice spritzers, but the often sweet lemonades and cola drinks rank higher in consumer popularity. The basis of these beverages is water, to which various flavors, sugars, minerals, carbon dioxide and other contents are added.
Soft drinks are often criticized over their high sugar content – excessive consumption can have negative consequences for health, including obesity. In 2018, the UK introduced a sugar tax on soft drinks, which targeted manufacturers to incentivize them to reduce their sugar content. In Germany too, there has been increasing discussion on the topic, however, such a tax has not yet been introduced in the country. Meanwhile, ‘light’ versions of different products try to offer consumers the same taste with a reduced sugar content, but these product segments are also coming under increasing critical scrutiny.
Given the addition of carbon dioxide, soft drinks are often referred to in English as carbonated soft drinks (CSD). The term “soft” refers to beverages that do not contain alcohol.