Soft drinks buoyant despite recession

LONDON - Soft drinks sales in the UK in 2009 grew 2% in value to £6.2bn in the take-home channel, despite the economic downturn.

Britvic report: soft drink sales defied economic downturn in 2009
Britvic report: soft drink sales defied economic downturn in 2009

The announcement was made today (30 March) at the launch of the 2010 Britvic Soft Drinks Report, which uses Nielsen data.

Britvic said the report showed a trend of consumers switching from more expensive sub-categories, such as smoothies, pure juice and sports drinks, and trading down to cola, juice drinks and squash.

As a result, the Lucozade brand, which has rolled out multimillion-pound campaigns, saw a sales decline of 3% to £339m, with Tropicana also down 6% to £270m. Ribena was down 3% to £75m, with water brand Volvic declining 7% to £54m.

Coca-Cola, on the other hand, witnessed a sales increase of 4% to £1,018m, despite flat sales on its Coke Zero brand. Pepsi-Cola also saw a sales increase of 4% to £271m.

Murray Harris, sales director at Britvic, said: "Despite the economy casting a cloud over consumer confidence, it is clear from the report that soft drinks tap into consumers' evolving shopping behaviour, by offering choice and affordable options. The wide-range of sub-categories means there is something for even the tightest of budgets."

Across all channels, the market grew 2% in value and is now worth £8.5bn. Cola remains the number one performing sub-category, growing 4% across the channels. It also has a 22% share of soft drinks within take-home, and 41% within on-trade.

Britvic said that in 2009, consumers were prepared to shop around and change their buying habits and, as a result, this impacted upon shopper loyalty to both brand and retailers. According to Britvic, this led to increased promotions across the board.


TOP TEN BRANDS (take-home)

                                                         Value                          %change

1. Coca-Cola                                       £1,018m                      +4

2. Lucozade                                        £339m                         -3

3. Robinsons                                       £307m                         +2

4. Pepsi-Cola                                       £271m                         +4

5. Tropicana                                        £270m                         -6

6. Red Bull energy                                £92m                            0

7. Ribena                                            £75m                          -3

8. Schweppes                                      £68m                           +4

9. Actimel                                           £68m                           +7

10. Volvic                                           £54m                           -7


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