Soft drinks strong in hard times

27 March, 2009

Soft drinks are holding their own in the recession with take-home value sales up 1% to £6.1 billion, according to Britvic's Soft Drinks Report 2009.

Cola doubled its value growth by 4% in the year to Dec 27, 2008, and remains the top sub-category with sales of £1.29 billion.

Pure juice held on to second place with 20% market share behind

cola's 21%, and in the third spot is glucose and stimulant drinks, which are driving the market with 12% value growth.

A second consecutive poor summer hasn't helped plain water. After failing 3% in 2007, sales dropped by a further 9% in 2008 to £417 million, the Nielsen figures show.

The tide has also turned for smoothies, with sales down 20% in value and 15% in volume. The fall was le d by sub-category leader Innocent, which saw value sales plummet by 26%. As consumers count the pennies more carefully, it's becoming harder for smoothies to command such a high price premium, according to customer management director Andrew Richards.

The top three take-home brands by value are Coca-Cola, Lucozade and Robinsons, with sales up 1%, 3% and 6% respectively. Tropicana recorded the biggest sales rise with 16% growth.

Consumers are turning towards brands "they know and trust" as economic conditions deteriorate and are showing "little desire to trade down to own-label goods or value tier brands," Richards added.




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Looking back to look forward

Wine is a liquid time capsule. Drinking older vintages not only recalls the weather conditions and winemaking styles of the past, it encourages us to reflect upon our own histories. Such reminiscence often inclines towards romanticised nostalgia. Especially after the second bottle. But looking back is a great way of learning about the future.

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