Costa Ricans are drinking less bottled water, more soft drinks

December 12, 2013

Aloe drinks and teas are consumer favorites in Costa Rica, and they have begun to outpace bottled water as healthy beverages of choice, according to a study released this week by market research company Euromonitor International.

The “Top Five Beverage Trends by Country” report concluded that given the upward trend in health and wellness in the country, Ticos are looking for more health benefits and nutrients in their beverages.

The local market offers a wide variety of both domestic and imported aloe drinks brands, but in addition to aloe beverages, “functional” teas are gaining momentum. Functional beverages are those that help people achieve a goal, such as recovering electrolytes or losing weight. 

“Increased demand for functional drinks and more natural ingredients is driving … innovation and new product launches across the region,” the document states.

Varieties of green tea mixed with different flavors also are becoming very popular, thanks to their fat-burning properties.

Bottled water consumption is steadily declining in Costa Rica, as consumers increasingly opt for products with more added-value benefits. Also, the supply of public water tends to be of high quality, especially compared to the wider region, the study noted.

Besides aloe and teas, super-food juices, coffee and carbonated drinks also are among Ticos’ non-alcoholic beverage choices.

Coffee is a highly popular drink in Costa Rica, despite an apparent plateau in interest among younger consumers, who have started to switch to tea and infusion options, the study noted. Coffee companies have apparently taken note, and are jockeying for premium positioning within the country.

The Euromonitor International investigation was conducted to identify the top five non-alcoholic drink trends in 15 countries throughout the Americas.

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