Healthy soft drinks boost off-trade sales
Published:  21 March, 2008

Strong demand for healthy soft drinks ha s driven take-home sales up by 2.8% to

over £6 billion, according to Britvic's latest report.

The growth has offset a 2% drop in volume sales, caused by a washout summer, said Andrew Richards, Britvic's customer management director.

The report showed that the strongest performers within the take-home market were soft drinks that offered consumers a "functional benefit", such as enhanced vitamins, minerals, electrolytes or energy. Sales of glucose and stimulant drinks grew by 25%, smoothies by 35% and sports drinks by 16%.

"It is no longer just about diet or avoiding sugar, consumers are increasingly looking for more natural products," Richards said.

Drinks that lost the most ground were the weather dependent ones, such as bottled water, fruit carbonates and squash.

Coca-Cola, Lucozade and Robinsons retained their places as the top three brands by value, with Innocent and Red Bull showing the strongest growth.

Convenience stores increased soft drinks sales by 6% and independents maintained a steady 4% growth, the report added. Co-ops and symbols grew sales by 7% while out-of-town supermarkets rose by a modest 2%.

"By dividing the market into grocery multiples versus smaller impulse outlets, impulse stores grew sales twice as fast as the multiples. This emphasises the importance of well-ranged

stores and

on-the-go

pack s," Richards said.




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