Health provides growth opportunity for retailers, says Britvic

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With a surge in the popularity of low sugar and sugar free options in 2016, Britvic says there is still significant headroom for growth in soft drink sales as consumers pursue healthier lifestyles.

Last year, soft drinks became the number three reason for shoppers to visit a convenience store, overtaking bread for the first time. Soft drinks follow milk and tobacco which are the most popular convenience items.

Growth in the channel was driven by three factors: the continued rise of health and wellness, the desire for immediate refreshment and maximising of occasions.

The findings were unveiled at the media launch of Britvic’s Soft Drinks Review, which the forward-thinking soft drinks manufacturer produces annually.

Trystan Farnworth, Commercial Director, Convenience & Impulse at Britvic, said: “Convenience maintained a steady performance in soft drinks thanks to the growing consumer demand for on-the-go solutions that fit in with busy schedules, as well as the increasing focus on healthier lifestyles.”

With health the hot topic of 2016, there was huge consumer interest in low and no sugar soft drinks which saw sales rise to account for 11% and 18% of the entire Convenience channel’s soft drinks sales respectively (Nielsen).

Figures show that many retailers successfully tapped into this opportunity in 2016 with brands such as Pepsi Max, which grew by +16.2% to £70.1m value sales (Nielsen).

However, with the Impulse market currently under trading in low calorie soft drinks versus the Grocery Mults, and the Soft Drinks Industry Levy on the horizon, the take home message for retailers is that there is a huge gap to be filled through healthier soft drinks in Convenience.

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