Britvic’s annual market review reveals soft drinks continuing to thrive

Britvic’s annual market review reveals soft drinks continuing to thrive
Britvic Soft Drinks Review 2018
12/04/2019 - 12:39
Britvic has released its 2018 Soft Drinks Review and it shows that 2018 was an unprecedented year for the soft drinks sector owing to number of factors affecting the market.

It delivered strong total value sales in the foodservice and licensed category of £7.1bn – an increase of +3.8% year on year. Total licensed soft drinks value sales accounted for £4.4bn (+4.8%) while foodservice delivered £2.7bn (+2.5%).

Rachel Phillips, out of home commercial director, said: “2018 was nothing short of extraordinary with a number of factors impacting the soft drinks category. We had to contend with extremely cold weather conditions at the beginning of the year, followed by the hottest summer on record for 30 years, which also included the CO2 shortage early June. Against this backdrop the category delivered a sterling performance and it clearly demonstrates the opportunity that foodservice and licensed operators can unlock.”

Britvic says that only 8.4% of the total soft drinks market became levy liable in April last year, which signified the concerted effort by manufacturers to create sustainable solutions through reformulation and product packaging strategies.

Phillips said: “The levy has left an indelible imprint on the soft drinks category. Additionally, we’ve also seen consumers increasingly looking for low and no sugar drinks, which gives us a clear indicator of the future. Low and no alcohol drinks continued to gain traction in 2018, again pointing to the important role that soft drinks – especially adult soft drinks – can play in the licensed category.”

The foodservice sector experienced a high rate of soft drinks sales in quick service restaurants, while soft drink sales in contract catering outperformed the total foodservice market (+4.2%), driven by health, welfare and education. Overall, strongest soft drinks growth continued to come from the delivery market, food to go, the growth of coffee outlets and travel hub venues.

Product categories that drove soft drinks performance growth in both foodservice and licensed included cola (+8.7%), with mixers at +30.2% delivering the highest value performance. Water Plus also delivered a strong performance with double digit growth (+13.2%) as consumers opted for healthier choices.

Phillips continued: “The channel segment and product category performances shine a light on the opportunity that soft drinks sales present. Britvic has created a simple action plan that we will be sharing in the coming weeks to help operators realise the potential to generate additional profit.

“We’ll be discussing how focusing on health and wellness options can drive growth, while premiumisation of mainstream brands can maximise value from the high volume core. Personalisation has a role to play this year and we cannot forget about the increasing number of people looking for experiences to make their out of home experiences truly one-of-a-kind.”

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