Britvic measures the soft drinks market and launches a new “healthier” brand

Soft drinks maker Britvic, last week revealed that soft drinks sales remained static in the Convenience channel throughout last year – rising just 0.9% to £2.1bn, but still had “significant headroom for growth for 2017 and beyond” in healthier and on-the-go formats

The supplier’s annual report highlighted that the Soft Drinks category was now the third major reason for shoppers to visit a convenience store, overtaking bread for the first time [him! CTP 2016]. It also reported that growth was predominantly driven by the continued rise of health and wellness, the desire for immediate refreshment and the maximising of occasions.

The interest in low and no sugar soft drinks saw sales rise to account for 11% and 18% of the entire Convenience channel’s soft drinks sales respectively [Nielsen Scantrack Total Impulse MAT w/e 31st Dec 2016], with brands such as Pepsi Max growing by +16.2% to £70.1m value sales.

However, the report also highlighted that the impulse market was still under-trading in low calorie soft drinks compared to the major supermarkets and urged wholesalers to encourage their customers to stock up on healthier options to help counter the effects of the coming “sugar tax”.
The research also pointed to the strong “drink now” market, underlining that 29% of shoppers buy soft drinks to consume immediately.

Trystan Farnworth, commercial director, convenience & impulse at Britvic, said: “The channel has seen some extremely fierce competition over the last year as more channels, such as Foodservice, strive to cash in on consumer demand for convenience. Despite this, Convenience maintained a steady performance in soft drinks thanks to the growing consumer demand for on-the-go solutions that fit in with busy schedules, as well as the increasing focus on healthier lifestyles. With the health trend continuing to gain momentum, and Convenience under-trading in no and low sugar soft drinks, retailers should see this as a major opportunity and the perfect time to take stock and ensure their range is fit for the future.”

Paul Graham, managing director at Britvic GB, added: “We’ve taken bold steps to help consumers to make choices that are better for them, removing 19 billion calories per year from our portfolio since 2012.”
This week also saw Britvic launch a new “better-for-you” brand – Robinsons Refresh’d.

Made using 100% naturally-sourced ingredients – spring water, mixed with real fruit, it comes three flavour combinations – Raspberry & Apple, Orange & Lime and Apple & Kiwi. Each contains 55kcal per 500ml serving and no artificial colours, flavourings, sweeteners or preservatives. RRP is £1.29.

The launch will be supported by a dedicated marketing investment including TV, OOH, digital and sampling activity. In-store activation materials and PoS is also available.
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