Like Chinese wines and fast food chains, Chinese soft drink brands were once a laughingstock (still are to some extent), but now chase the game’s biggest players. Master Kong, known as Kangshifu in Chinese, is now the world’s fourth largest-selling brand, behind Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola and Sprite. FoodBev reports:
The ranking of the top three soft drinks brands has remained unchanged over the last decade. However, behind these major international carbonates brands there is lots of movement led by the burgeoning Asia market. The key difference between these Asian products and Coca-Cola and PepsiCo’s brands is that they are mainly sold in just one country.
Unsurprisingly, China is the country that is seeing the biggest year on year increase of soft drinks sales, with some local brands seeing explosive growth over the last decade. Kangshifu, also known as Master Kong, is now the fourth best-selling brand globally, behind Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola and Sprite. The brand has seen amazing growth in recent years, rising from below 30, ten years ago, to fifth position five years ago. Over the last five years, sales of Kangshifu have risen by over 6,000m litres with its iced tea drinks and packaged water products being particularly successful. Consumption of Kangshifu is now higher than the entire Russian soft drinks market.
Wahaha, Nongfushanquan and Uni-President are three other Chinese brands that have seen strong growth. Nongfushanquan has registered stunning growth over the last few years, growing 30% a year since 2008 and now ranks sixteenth in the top 20 global soft drinks line up. In its local market, Nongfushanquan is perceived as being a good quality product, with a strong brand image for its packaged water.
Nongfu’s water could be slightly less clean than its reputation, but we digress. And it looks like customers weren’t deterred by Wahaha’s penchant for creating yogurt elastic enough to be used as a prophylactic and volatile enough to explode in someone’s face and blind them.
Master Kong will likely see accelerated success in the future seeing how it’s now Pepsi-Cola’s protege.