The new research from Mintel finds that a quarter (25%) of people in the UK are consuming less carbonated soft drinks (CSDs) than they were six months ago – rising to a third (34%) of those aged 16-24.
Of those consuming less CSDs in 2014, 50% said they were doing so because they contained too much sugar.
Following this decrease in demand, consumption has inevitably taken a knock and is expected this year to fall to its lowest point since 2010.
The UK consumed 5.96 billion litres in 2010, whilst this rose to 6.17 billion litres in 2011, this has declined to just 5.95 billion litres in 2014.
Richard Ford, senior food and drink analyst at Mintel, said: 'The findings of our research come as the debate over sugar’s contribution towards the nation’s growing obesity continues to be played out in the media, with CSDs being highlighted as one area for improvement.
'As such, CSD manufacturers continue to launch lower-sugar and sugar-free variants of their standard soft drinks, the highest-profile example of which is Coca-Cola’s forthcoming launch of Coca-Cola Life, which contains a blend of sugar and the sweetener stevia leaf extract, in the UK this September.
'That CSDs meet a strong perceived need to quench thirst amongst consumers means that, in one sense, the category is well-placed in consumers’ minds.
'However, whilst the industry has been proactive in tackling concerns around the high sugar content of some of the drinks by introducing lower-sugar or lower-calorie variants, more work is needed.'
Further to this, Mintel’s research also sheds light on other important reasons why some consumers are drinking less CSDs.
A third (34%) of those drinking less carbonated soft drinks than six months ago said they were doing so because they were worried about the health impacts of artificial sweeteners.
Meanwhile, Government initiatives are also affecting consumption with one in six (16%) saying they are drinking less due to health campaigns such as Change4life.
Earlier this year, additional Mintel research identified that a third (32%) of those who had drunk fruit juice, juice drinks and smoothies in 2013 said they limited their consumption of juice drinks due to the high sugar content.