The soft-drink category saw the highest absolute value growth in the UK – compared to any other product segment in 2022 – and is now worth £2.8 billion (€3.2 billion) to the convenience channel, according to the latest data from Britvic’s Soft Drinks Review 2023.
Ben Parker, retail commercial director for GB at Britvic, said, “The opportunity [that] soft drinks is creating – when the right range is on offer – is hard to ignore, and it’s important for retailers to make the most of the category, particularly during challenging times.
“Energy drinks and cola are flying high, and we’ve also seen that adding interesting, limited-edition flavours into the mix can pay big dividends in driving impulse sales when it comes to on-the-go formats.”
Energy drinks accounted for 28% of growth, or £96.9 million (€111.6 million) of the total category growth of £347.4 million (€400.3 million), the study found.
Cola and still water followed, with just over £70 million (€80.7 million) each, with sales of still water surging by 39.4%, to £250.3 million (€288.4 million).
Demand for new products and innovative flavour profiles also gained momentum, with Pepsi Max’s trio of flavoured colas – cherry, raspberry and lime – growing by £6.3 million (up by 16.9%, or €7.3 million) in 2022.
These delivered more growth for convenience retailers than all other flavoured colas combined, the company noted.
The demand for on-the-go products grew to 14.9% in 2022, with soft drinks accounting for 48% of to-go purchases.
Parker added, “The growth we’re seeing in food-to-go missions across the convenience channel presents retailers with an opportunity to attract trade by offering a compelling range of soft drinks that meets consumer needs and occasions.
“Our Britvic Soft Drinks Review shows that there is a growing demand for soft drinks consumed on the go. We calculate that this occasion presents a chance to increase soft drinks’ sales value in the convenience retail channel by £400 million a year by 2025. That equates to a sales boost of £8,400 per year for each C-store operating in the UK today.”
The study also found that soft drinks emerged as one of the top ten categories bought using delivery apps, surpassing hot drinks and confectionery.
Parker concluded, “Delivery is one of the ways retailers can diversify, attracting a younger audience, and also putting soft drinks on the map alongside food purchases.
“Particularly at a time when consumers are tightening their belts, convenience can be viewed as a cheaper alternative to restaurants and fast food, so identifying the real areas for growth is crucial for ultimate store success.”
© 2023 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest A-brand news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.