The European soft drinks sector provides refreshment, hydration, and enjoyment to a large number of EU citizens thanks to our wide range of beverages.

As a sector sourcing, producing, and employing people locally, we are a significant contributor to the EU economy and society. We support over 1.8 million jobs across Europe – both directly and throughout our supply chain. For every job in soft drinks production, another seven jobs are created in the value chain, in sectors including agriculture, raw materials, manufacturing, packaging, marketing, transport, retail and catering.

Key facts & figures


plants across the EU


jobs throughout the soft drinks value chain


value chain across the EU (equivalent to 1.29% of EU GDP)


of ingredients sourced within the EU


of soft drinks produced within the EU


in tax contributions to the EU Member States (equivalent to 8% of 
Austria’s GDP)

                  Source: ©2024. Market data copyright held by GlobalData PLC and reproduced under license.

The soft drinks value chain

The soft drinks value chain is made up of 9 distinct sectors.

Raw Materials
2,000 jobs

Sourcing, extraction, and processing of raw materials used in packaging, i.e., wood pulp, metals, plastics, glass

53,000 jobs

Production of packaging that is used to store, contain and transport goods.

39,000 jobs

Any communication with the end user that promotes a product or service. This excludes any advertising services provided internally by a soft drinks producer.

240,000 jobs

Sale of goods in the off-trade channel, whereby products are consumed away from the site of purchase

Raw Ingredients
255,000 jobs

Farming and harvesting of any arable crops including sugar beet, fruit, etc.

Soft drinks ingredients
29,000 jobs

Third-party suppliers that provide any ingredients to soft drinks suppliers, including sugar, syrups, flavourings, juices, sweeteners, etc.

19,000 jobs

Logistical process and transportation of goods between soft drinks producers and the final point of sale. This excludes any services provided internally by a soft drinks producer

1,022,000 jobs

Sale of goods in the on-trade channel, whereby products are consumed on the site of purchase

SMEs in the soft drinks sector

Most small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), defined as companies employing less than 250 people, focus on niche segments in the soft drinks market by capitalising on specific consumer trends for novel products.

In the European soft drinks industry, SMEs contribute about 14% of the total market revenue.