Categorized | Announcements, News, Non-Alcoholic

Soft Drinks Sales Overtake Spirits


Sales of soft drinks surged ahead last year, overtaking spirits in UK on-trade for the first time, according to the Britvic Soft Drinks Report, released today.

Figures from Nielsen show the on-trade soft drinks category grew 3% in 2009 to £2.4bn, ahead of spirits, which declined 5% by value.

In 2008 soft drinks declined by 4%. Britvic put the change in fortune down to the growing emphasis on food in pubs, which has attracted more families into the sector.

“Last year’s soft drink sales performance is a welcome return to form for the licensed channel,” said sales director Murray Harris.

“After a very difficult 18 months we are seeing evidence that outlets which have refocussed their offer to target families and women are reaping the benefits. Soft drinks are a clear opportunity for the on-trade, which is demonstrated by this growth.”

The big winners in the sector were cola and lemonade (both up 4%), flavoured carbonates (up 10%) and squash (a 5% increase).

Top performing brands in the on-trade included Pepsi, which overtook rival Coca-Cola for the first time, with sales up 10% to £475m to become the top soft drink in the on-trade.

R Whites lemonade (up 8%) beat Britvic’s J20 (down 2%) into third place, while Fruit Shoot increased 9% in sales and Capri Sun a whopping 55%, albeit of a small base.

The positive performance of soft drinks in UK pubs and bars was mostly down to a 6% increase in sales through the managed sector, which Murray attributes to an increased emphasis on food in this channel.

Sales through the leased and tenanted sector were less impressive, up just 2% but represented a return to growth after a comparable decline of 7% in 2008, said Britvic. The independent sector remained flat.

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Wednesday, January 24, 1:36 am

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