How to open the production of soft drinks

Food industry Soft drinks

Non-alcoholic drinks, as their name implies, include any kind of alcohol-free drinks. Despite the fact that this segment has always been highly competitive, over the past five years the market situation has developed in the most favorable way for manufacturers. On average, over 2 billion liters of soft drinks are sold in the country per year (in value terms, this is about 20 billion rubles). Approximately 70-75% of Russians are regular consumers of sweet carbonated drinks. But gradually, people are moving to more healthy juices and mineral water.

Traditionally, the market for soft drinks is divided into three main segments: mineral and drinking water, juices and juice drinks, carbonated drinks. The first segment includes mineral water (natural or artificially enriched), spring or purified water (with or without flavors, but in any case without sugar). The second group includes fruit and vegetable juices, nectars, juice drinks, fruit puree. All these products are ready to eat. The latter category includes sweet carbonated drinks based on water and sugar, including tonics, soda, kvass, fruit drinks, children's soft champagne.

The Russian soft drinks market is growing rapidly. Nevertheless, its structure has undergone significant changes over the past few years. Previously, carbonated drinks and then mineral water were the leaders in terms of sales, but now juices and juice-containing products have come to the fore.

According to 2011 data, sales in these sectors are distributed in value terms (note: these figures differ from sales) as follows: 48% are juices, 33% are soda water and 19% are mineral water. At the same time, the market situation is rapidly changing every year.

Monopolization is strong enough in the segment of soft drinks, which is associated with the mergers and acquisitions of large players. As you know, the global beverage market is controlled by two of the largest multinational companies - Coca - Cola and PepsiCo. According to various estimates, their total market share in carbonated drinks and juices ranges from 58 to 65%.

In the segment of mineral water, the situation is somewhat different. The combined share of the two leading manufacturing companies does not exceed 30% (these are two brands: Bonaqua, which is owned by Coca-Cola, and Aqua Minerale, which is owned by PepsiCo). In general, the total share of these two companies in the Russian market of soft drinks exceeds 50%.

It is not easy for Russian manufacturers to compete with these giants. Nevertheless, according to experts, there are quite good opportunities for promoting Russian brands in the domestic market. The question is the initial investment, positioning and quality of such products.

According to 2011 data, over a thousand companies that produce soft drinks were registered in our country. True, 98% of these companies operate primarily in regional markets. The main problem that almost all manufacturers face is the organization of marketing of finished products and gaining market share in the face of fierce competition.

Almost all soft drinks, regardless of the brand under which they are produced, are produced in Russia. Development trends of the domestic market practically do not differ from foreign ones. Consumers give preference to local brands as well as healthy foods (or those that they consider to be healthy). Many companies expand their assortment of juice drinks with products using unusual additives: spicy aromatic raw materials, beekeeping products, and secondary dairy products. The popularity of the traditional Russian drink kvass is growing.

Three main types of containers are used as packaging for soft drinks: PET packaging, aluminum can, glass bottle. The most popular are plastic bottles with a volume of one to one and a half liters (over 50%). In second place is a plastic bottle with a volume of two liters or more (25%), followed by bottles with a capacity of less than one liter, metal cans and glass bottles. Glass containers are gradually losing ground. According to experts, soon this type of packaging will completely disappear from the market. Now it is used by some manufacturers of juice-containing carbonated drinks and juices in the mid- and high-price segments. In general, the cost of packaging can reach 70% of the total cost of the product.

The most promising in the near future is the production of low-calorie, juice-containing (maximum natural) and energy (tonic) drinks. By the way, kvass also belongs to the latter.

Raw materials used for the production of soft drinks must comply with the requirements of regulatory documents. One of the main components of any drink is water. It must undergo the necessary treatment, according to GOST 2874 “Drinking water. Hygiene requirements and quality control. ” Many manufacturers use natural water, which is a good competitive advantage, as consumers prefer the most natural and healthy products. In addition, for the preparation of soft drinks, granulated sugar (GOST 21-94), liquid sugar (OST 18-170-74) or refined sugar (GOST 22-94) is used. However, more often such products include cheaper sugar substitute sorbitol (a product of glucose hydrogenation), acid (GOST 20710-75), fruit and berry semi-finished products, various aromatic and flavoring additives, food colors.

The procedure for the production of soft drinks consists of several operations that are performed in a specific order. At the first stage, the water that is used to prepare the drinks is purified using water treatment equipment. It is passed through a whole system of filters: first sand for rough cleaning, then sodium cationite (for softening), and then membrane. Only after that, water enters the refrigerator, where it is saturated with carbon dioxide.

Separately from the water tank in the syrup machine, sugar syrup is produced. To do this, the pre-purified water is brought to a boil, and then, with constant stirring, sugar is poured into it. This mass is boiled for about thirty minutes. Then citric acid is added to it, and the syrup is filtered again - this time through a plate filter. After that, it enters the plate heat exchanger, is cooled and bottled in tanks. The sugar content in this syrup should be at least 60-65%.

At the next stage, dyes are added to the syrup. The most common colors are yellow or light brown. They are used in many non-alcoholic drinks, starting with Coca-Cola and ending with Duchess, which we have known since childhood. Dyes, sugar and water in a certain ratio are added to the tinting apparatus. All this mixture with constant stirring is brought to a temperature of 180-200 degrees Celsius and cooked for about one and a half hours. Then the solution is poured into a separate container and cooled. If the mass is too thick, it is diluted with water.

At the third stage, the so-called blend syrup is prepared - a solution of flavorings and flavors. All components, according to the recipe, are placed in the blending device in the following sequence: sugar syrup, juice from berries, fruits, organic acids, dye. If the added juice or tincture has a precipitate, they are pre-filtered and clarified, which makes the drink more attractive to consumers (sediment is a natural phenomenon when using natural ingredients). After mixing, the syrup is pumped through the filter and through the refrigerator to the pressure vessels.

There is another technology for making blend syrup. It is used if the components include fresh juices, fruit drinks and other extracts with a high content of proteins and alcohol. In this, a white syrup is brought to a boil in a syrup-cooking apparatus, into which filtered juice or previously diluted extract is added. Twenty minutes later, the composition is filtered and cooled, and then poured into a blending device.

When all the components are mixed, the liquid is cooled to 4-7 degrees Celsius and fed into the deaerator, where dissolved air is removed from it. Then the drink enters the saturator, where it is saturated with carbon dioxide. Finally, the finished carbonated soft drink is poured into the filling machine, which bottles it. The sequence of stages of production may vary, depending on the formulations and technologies used. However, the most correct way is to pre-mix the water with the syrup, and then saturate the solution with the composition of carbon dioxide.

Soft drinks are bottled or packaged. This happens automatically, but the procedure for bottling drinks in plastic and glass bottles is different. The latter takes more time and goes through several stages of processing and verification, including on the marriage machine, which checks the cleanliness of the dishes and the absence of extraneous inclusions or underfilling. Using special equipment, a label is glued onto the bottle, after which the finished product is placed in boxes or packed in film.

The necessary equipment for such production, in addition to the above, includes: equipment for water purification, complex bottling lines, equipment for blowing PET containers.

If you plan to immediately go to the federal level with your products, then the minimum volume of your production should be about 100 million liters per year (or 150-200 thousand bottles per day). Companies are forced to pay about $ 50 thousand for each product item that will be presented in the country's largest super- and hypermarkets. That is, for five items will have to pay about a million rubles. Few domestic producers are able to spend that kind of money. Therefore, you must take care in advance of finding your own distribution channels. Unlike production volumes, the assortment can be quite modest: ten of the most popular tastes are enough. After the season is over (it lasts from April-May to September), you can think about expanding the range.

According to experts, the volume of production of soft carbonated drinks in the near future will only grow. True, one should not expect a cardinal change in the balance of power in the market: leaders will not give up their positions. But the number of players can increase significantly. In addition, to conquer the market, they have to constantly improve the technologies used and develop new types of products.

The business associated with the production and sale of soft drinks is seasonal. As a rule, from mid-late autumn to early-mid-spring people more often buy juices. Between the second half of spring and mid-autumn, soda water is in great demand. In general, for the year consumers drink the most carbonated drinks, but juices are leading in terms of expenses. This is due to the higher price of juices and juice-containing products: a liter pack of juice costs more than a bottle of the same volume with carbonated or mineral water.

The main advertising tools with which manufacturers promote their products are television advertising (84%), the press (2%), and radio (0.1%). The rest is on the Internet. It is worth considering that the advertising budgets of domestic companies do not even make up a tenth of the funds spent on promoting their products by Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

The construction of a plant for the production of soft drinks and mineral water will cost from 50 million rubles. To do this, you need a land area of ​​at least 5-6 hectares. The production facilities themselves, where equipment and warehouses will be located, are at least 7, 000 square meters. m. The staff of such a company is about 40-50 people. You can also purchase a functioning company, which already has a sales system in place. A plant with a capacity of 12 thousand bottles per hour will cost 75-80 million rubles. For comparison: the largest Russian enterprises produce 150-200 thousand bottles of 1.5 liters per day. The payback period is five to seven years. According to various sources, the profitability of this type of business reaches about 10-20%. The turnover of Russian producers of soft drinks averages $ 10-12 million per year.

Liliya Sysoeva

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