Since 2020, the soft drinks market has been experiencing significant trends affecting both supply and demand. In France, the market is divided between carbonated and non-carbonated beverages, the former including colas and the latter fruit juices, among others. While sales of fruit juices fell slightly by 0.3% in 2020, sales of colas rose by 3.5% over the same period. The total value of the soft drinks market in France was €5.42 billion in 2020, with carbonated drinks accounting for €2.22 billion (up 2.9%) and non-carbonated drinks €3.2 billion (up 1.7%). Consumers are increasingly opting for healthier options, as evidenced by the growth in demand for low-sugar and sugar-free products, and the growing interest in organic soft drinks.

The French CSD market is dominated by major players such as Coca-Cola European Partners and Suntory Beverage, with Coca-Cola alone holding a substantial market share of 46.6% by volume and 49.6% by value. Regulatory measures, such as the "soda tax", were imposed to discourage excessive sugar consumption, influencing both consumer behavior and industry practices. The pandemic further accelerated the trend towards more responsible eating, with consumers showing a marked preference for sustainable, healthy and organic products.

Changing tastes and health-conscious trends shape demand for soft drinks

As the market for soft drinks in the country under review continues to evolve, a shift in consumer preferences is evident, with growing health awareness and changing lifestyles taking center stage. Demand in this sector, valued at over 5 billion euros in recent times, has shown a notable preference for non-carbonated beverages, indicating a shift towards healthier options. This change in consumer behavior has led to a slight decline in the fruit juice segment, while colas have seen a slight increase in sales. The demand for soft drinks is closely linked to various socio-economic factors. There is a distinct pattern of consumption based on demographic factors such as age, gender, level of education and geographical location. For example, households in certain regions consume soft drinks around one and a half times more than the national average. In addition, people with a bachelor's degree or higher tend to consume far fewer soft drinks than their counterparts with lower levels of education.

Interestingly, the growing trend towards healthier consumption has led water to become a strong competitor to traditional soft drinks, with year-on-year growth of around 3.5%, reaching around 2.5 billion euros. This trend towards water consumption, whether bottled or from the tap, reflects health awareness campaigns and the growing popularity of healthy eating. Demand for soft drinks has also adapted to the global health crisis. The pandemic has heightened consumer interest in health and wellness, prompting them to reconsider their soft drinks consumption habits.

The trend is towards beverages containing less sugar, more natural flavours and a generally healthier profile. Surveys reveal that a large proportion of the country's population would like to reduce their sugar intake, corresponding to a steady decline in sugar consumption over the years. This means that demand for non-alcoholic beverages is increasingly shifting in favor of options that may offer health benefits or present a better nutritional profile.

Finally, the organic soft drinks segment is booming, signalling another facet of consumer demand for healthier, more responsible choices. With impressive double-digit growth in the organic market as a whole, soft drinks manufacturers have begun to take action by launching organic product ranges in major companies. This shift is a clear indicator of an evolving market where the lines between traditional soft drinks roles and healthy options are blurring, explaining why today's market cannot be viewed through the same prism as yesterday's.

Key players in the French soft drinks market

The French soft drinks market is a dynamic landscape where a handful of influential companies hold the upper hand. This dominance is due to their innovative product portfolios, strategic marketing and deep-rooted brand recognition, which appeal to a wide range of consumer preferences.

  • Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) is at the top of the soft drinks hierarchy, dominating the market by a significant margin. Their ubiquitous brand is synonymous with soft drinks around the world, and in France they take the lion's share of the market. With a wide range of products from the classic Coca-Cola to a variety of light and sugar-free options, they have managed to remain relevant even as consumer tastes evolve.
  • Schweppes is another heavyweight in the French market, with a portfolio of soft drinks including the iconic, sparkling Orangina and the versatile Schweppes range of blends and sodas. Their products often strike a balance between tradition and innovation, offering new taste experiences while retaining the essential elements of the brand.
  • PepsiCo is not far behind, exerting considerable influence through its global Pepsi brand. Known for its direct rivalry with Coca-Cola, PepsiCo offers consumers an alternative in the cola wars, as well as a wide range of other beverages to suit a variety of tastes and dietary preferences.
  • Refresco operates somewhat in the background, but plays a crucial role as a leading bottler of a large number of market products. Its ability to provide efficient, high-quality production services makes it a valuable partner in the soft drinks supply chain.
  • Britvic is a well-established company, known for manufacturing its own brands and distributing others. Its market presence means a mix of international flavor and local adaptation, offering consumers a taste of global trends as well as familiar local options.
  • LSDH (Laiterie de Saint-Denis-de-l'Hôtel) may not be a household name like some of its counterparts, but it's a formidable entity in the French beverage industry, particularly known for producing fruit juices and other soft drinks that have found their way into the daily lives of the French.
  • Eckes Granini is renowned for its specialization in fruit juices and nectars. Their presence on the market underlines the importance of health-oriented beverages that focus on natural ingredients and taste.
  • Monin stands out for its wide range of syrups, aimed not only at the hospitality industry, but also at consumers looking for high-end options to enhance their drinking experience at home.
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1. Definition and presentation

Soft drinks are beverages made primarily from water(over 90% of the composition), but also with other ingredients, such as sugar. These refreshing beverages, also known as soft drinks, can be consumed in a variety of contexts (after sport, during a meal, etc.) and in different forms (cans, bottles, etc.).

One of the sector's great strengths lies in the diversity of its offer, which appeals to a wide range of consumers. There are two main categories:

  • Carbonated soft drinks,
  • Non-carbonated soft drinks.

worldwide, sales of soft drinks and juices are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.5% between 2022 and 2027. This is partly due to the dynamism of the soft drinks market in the Asia-Pacific region [Industry Reports].

The world's leading soft drinks players are Coca-Cola, Pepsi Co and Orangina Suntory. As for the French market, the players are broadly identical to those present on the global market.

While the non-carbonated beverage segment in France has been struggling (-1.5% sales in 2020 vs. 2019), weighed down by falling fruit juice sales, the carbonated beverage segment has remained fairly stable, with a -0.1% drop in sales in 2020 vs. 2019. What's more, the recovery for soft drinks was not long in coming, as growth in 2021 was 7.1%, with a volume effect of 6% [LSA].

The structure of the market is evolving, with a multiplicity of small companies gradually appearing in the sector, relying on changing consumer demand to reach niche markets. Beverages are now marketed with lower sugar content, while vegan ingredients and tropical flavours are on the increase.

The soft drinks market includes all non-alcoholic beverages with the exception of mineral water (bottled water), which will be excluded by default and is the subject of a separate study (cf. businesscoot study: "The bottled water market").

1.2. a fast-growing global market

In ****, the soft drinks market generated total sales of $*,***.* billion worldwide. With sales of $***.* billion in ****, carbonated soft drinks accounted for **% of the NAB market , making them the largest segment.

Breakdown of global sales for soft drinks World, ****, in Source: ****

Global sales of soft drinks will increase at a CAGR of ...

1.3. Two paths for the French market

An overview of the soft drinks market

Sales in the soft drinks market France, ****-****, in € billions Source: ****

It's clear that over the past * years, the BRSA market has been growing steadily, reaching sales of *.* billion in ****. Overall, with the exception of **** and ****, sales in the carbonated BRSA market have risen ...

1.4 The impact of the covid-19 pandemic on French consumer habits

The soft drinks market in difficulty, with a drop in at-home consumption

The health crisis has changed the way the French consume soft drinks. Consumption of soft drinks experienced difficulties during the various confinements, as according to a study by FranceAgriMer, the French preferred to more essential food products than non-alcoholic ...

1.5 The global market for sugar-free soft drinks

The sugar-free soda segment is smaller than the traditional carbonated soda segment, which was worth $**.* billion in ****, but it's growing much faster. Sales of sugar-free soda grew by **. *% year-on-year in ****, compared with just *. *% for regular sodas over the same period, making it an attractive segment for soda manufacturers looking for ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 Socio-economic determinants of BRSA demand

In July ****, the French National Agency for Food Safety(***) delivered a comprehensive study of French eating habits and lifestyles. This study is carried out every seven years.

There are significant differences in consumption between men and women. The average amount of food consumed by a French person is *.* kg per day, ...

2.2. French consumer habits

The French have changed their consumption habits. Today, the act of consuming is no longer simply a means to an end, but has become for some the result of a conscious choice. This means consuming organic or fair-trade products. This natural aspect is increasingly demanded of soft drink manufacturers by consumers, ...

2.3. The organic and CBD soft drinks market segments: a new Eldorado?

organic consumption trends in France

France, ****-****, billions of euros Source: ****

The organic market

In ****, **% of French people consumed organic food, and this market, which is no longer a niche, is reaching more and more people, as evidenced by the **.* billion euros generated in ****, an increase of **.*% since ****. These good results ...

2.4. Consumption of sugar-free and low-fat soft drinks

When it comes to drinks containing sweeteners, parents have mixed opinions. Although they allow their children to consume them, they don't see these drinks as healthy, dietetic alternatives to sugary drinks. This ambivalence offers many opportunities for innovation for companies.

The penetration rate of sweetened beverages in French households with children ...

3 Market structure

3.1. A highly concentrated market despite a wide range of players

In ****, there were around *** companies specializing in the production of fruit juices, soft drinks or bottled water. However, the *** companies producing soft drinks and bottled water generated almost ** times more sales than fruit juice manufacturers[***].

In the more general beverage manufacturing segment, companies with between * and * employees account for **.*% of companies ...

3.2. Production dominated by BRSA

Production sales in **** amounted to almost *.* billion euros.[***]

Production in France is essentially made up of waters with added sugar or other sweeteners, with a **% share of production in ****.

Breakdown of soft drinks production by value France, ****, % Source: Agreste PRODCOM code: **.** & **.**.**

This production is carried out in large factories (***), following recipes ...

3.3. Distribution is mainly through supermarkets

The distribution network to the end consumer is shown below:

GMS: supermarkets and hypermarkets

Depending on the product, the distribution network will be different. Three different types of player can be distinguished in the production (***) of soft drinks.

Specialists in industrial subcontracting, who generate most of their revenues by producing for ...

3.4 An overview of the players in the soft drinks market

Players in the soft drinks market

Market share of soft drinks players in volume and value (***) France, ****, in Source: ****

HMSM: Hypermarkets and Supermarkets

One player dominates the soft drinks market in France: Coca-Cola, which had **.*% of market share by volume and **.*% of market share by value in ****. Coca-Cola alone had almost ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1. A wide variety of BRSAs

Refreshing beverages in France encompass several product families. The Boissons Rafraîchissantes Sans Alcool (***) typologies encompass these different product families:

Colas, Still and sparkling fruit drinks, Lemonades, limes, tonics, Tea-based drinks (***), Flavored waters, Sugar-free drinks.

Non-alcoholic refreshment beverages comprise two main families: soft drinks and syrups and concentrates.

Two groups make ...

4.2. A range of prices reflecting the diversity of the offer

With the diversity of the offer, there is a consequent price range between the various products. While a bottle of Coca Cola is sold for *.** euros per liter for the *.** L format [***].

The table below shows Carrefour's prices for different types of soft drinks, according to their range.

Source: ****

It's clear ...

4.3 Upmarket offerings: a growing trend

In its annual BRSA report,LSA Conso has identified a number of key trends being followed by manufacturers.

The first concerns packaging, which now uses recycled plastic (***) to meet consumer expectations regarding ocean pollution. PepsiCo uses **% rPET in the manufacture of its plastic bottles. Coca-Cola has decided to introduce a single ...

4.4 Sugar-free soft drinks

"Sugar-free" has replaced "diet" for many calorie-free drinks. Canada Dry and Schweppes, *Up, A&W and Sunkist sodas, produced by Keurig Dr Pepper, now label their diet drinks "sugar-free". (***)

In recent years, drinks labelled "Zero" or "sugar-free" have seen strong growth in the soft drinks aisle. Since the launch of the ...

4.5 Partnerships that generate substantial sales

In ****, water and non-alcoholic beverages (***) recorded growth in value four times higher than that of all liquids. This growth was boosted by an exceptional weather effect of almost *.*%, as well as record inflation in the last quarter. In the face of this inflation, private labels have become an increasingly popular choice ...

5 Regulations

5.1 The "soda tax" reshuffles the deck

Introduced on January*, ****, the soda tax aims to limit the consumption of sugary drinks in France. It applies to fruit juices with added sugar, sweetened waters and soft drinks, whatever their distribution channel. [***] The tax is levied on the final consumer.

Source: ****

This tax is a threat to beverage distributors, but ...

List of charts

  • Breakdown of global sales for soft drinks
  • Worldwide soft drinks sales
  • Volume of soft drinks sold worldwide
  • Breakdown of soft drinks sales by segment in value terms
  • Sales in the soft drinks market
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Latest news

Creation of a Drink Design Center by Sirops Routin - 08/01/2024
  • The Routin mixology school opened in September 2022.
  • The company has trained 1,200 students there. The company acquired the licenses for Oasis and Carambar syrups in 2018.
  • Routin absorbed its competitor Eyguebelle in 2021.
  • The company diversified its range with the acquisition of Artonic in 2022 and Californian Cappuccine in 2023.
  • The group has 247 employees.
  • Routin's current sales total 123 million euros, two-thirds of which are generated internationally.
  • In 2018, the company achieved sales of 50 million euros, 20% of which were exported.
  • Routin is aiming for sales of almost 200 million euros in 2027, three quarters of which will be international.
SDH recycles the plastic in its milk bottles - 27/12/2023
  • The LSDH Group is committed to producing milk bottles with a minimum of 30% recycled content by 2024.
  • Launched in 2008, the recyclable and recycled opaque PET UHT milk bottle is the result of a consortium of 8 partners, including LSDH.
  • Since 2019, mass recycling of opaque PET has been possible thanks to LSDH.
  • Customers such as Carrefour and Relais Vert have been able to market bottles made from 100% recycled material.
  • The milk bottle made from 50% rPET has been well received by consumers, and sales volumes continue to rise.
Anne Miller (Beam France): "We'll be leading the next sales negotiations" - 08/10/2023
  • Beam Suntory is the world's third-largest spirits company.
  • Beam Suntory is a leader in three segments: premium whiskies, Japanese whiskies and bourbons.
  • The company operates 26 distilleries worldwide, including one in France for the production of Courvoisier cognac.
  • Some 6,000 people work for Suntory.
  • In 2022, the company achieved sales of around $5.5 billion (€5.22 billion).
  • France is the leading market for whiskies in Europe.
  • Beam's launch in France comes less than a month before the start of commercial negotiations.
Spirits: Beam Suntory France officially launched - 08/10/2023
  • Beam Suntory is the world's 3rd largest spirits company.
  • Beam Suntory France will be created in January 2024.
  • Beam Suntory France will employ 40 people.
  • France is an important market for Beam Suntory, as it is the world's luxury center and Europe's leading whisky market.
  • The current distribution agreement between Beam Suntory and Campari ends in 2023.
  • Beam Suntory International employs 6,000 people in 30 countries.
  • The launch of Beam Suntory France represents a significant expansion of Beam Suntory's presence in Europe.
  • Beam Suntory's portfolio in France includes Jim Beam and Maker's Mark bourbons, House of Suntory whiskies and spirits Yamazaki, Hibiki, Hakushu, Toki and Roku, Laphroaig and Bowmore scotch whiskies and Courvoisier cognac.
Suntory takes France by storm with its premium whiskies - 29/09/2023
  • Previously distributed in France by Italy's Campari, the group is creating its own subsidiary to market, directly and from 2024, its Jim Beam and Maker's Mark bourbons, its Japanese whiskies (Yamazaki, Hibiki...) its Laphroaig and Bowmore scotches and its Courvoisier cognac.
  • Beam Suntory group worldwide sales: 5.5 billion euros
  • Beam Suntory's market share in France in the premium whisky segments: between 4% and 5%
  • Beam Suntory's estimated sales in these premium whisky segments: 70 million euros
  • Beam Suntory's French subsidiary will employ around 40 people.
Bottler Suntory streamlines logistics in the Loiret region of France - 07/07/2023
  • Project value for a new logistics platform: 60 million euros
  • Production: 540 million bottles per year
  • Group workforce in France: 1,300 people
  • Soft drinks market share in France: 19%
  • Growth in 2022: 16
  • Sales in France 2022: just over 1 billion euros.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Coca-Cola Groupe
Eckes Granini
Monin Groupe
Verger de Thau
SOJUFEL Provence Production
Sautter Pom Or
Routin Sirops

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