An estimated two-thirds of soft drinks consumers globally are increasingly opting for natural products, presenting new opportunities for companies in the healthy drinks segment, according to a report by GlobalData.

Titled ‘Top Trends in Soft Drinks 2017’, the report highlights a global shift in attitudes towards soft drinks. Consumers have increasingly become wary of high levels of sugar, calories, and artificial ingredients. The report has identified approximately 89% of consumers are opting for healthy and functional drinks.

Senior consumer analyst for GlobalData Melanie Felgate suggests companies need to reduce sugar content, use plant-based sugar alternatives, and fortify products with essential vitamins and minerals to attract consumers.

A total of 66% of global consumers are attracted by food and drink products having on-pack credentials such as logos and certificates, as well as health claims such as pure and clean. Such claims, supported by the inclusion of health-enhancing natural ingredients such as ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon are increasingly attracting consumers.

Soft drinks manufacturers need to follow health trends to remain relevant and compete in the market, adds Felgate.