Me and My Brand: Charlotte White of Robinsons

Charlotte White, Brand Marketing Director for Robinsons at Britvic, says that the squash and cordials market is booming, and that the well-loved brand is at the forefront of development and innovation to ensure all parts of the market are catered for

Charlotte White

Can you please give an overview of your brand?

Robinsons is the UK’s leading squash brand and accounts for over half (50.5%) of all squash sales in convenience. The Robinsons range has something for everyone, including Family Favourites, Fruit Creations, Fruit Cordials, Barley Water, Robinsons Minis and recently relaunched Robinsons Ready to Drink.

How is your brand currently performing?

Robinsons has grown by +13.5% in the past year, equivalent to £24.8m in additional sales value. We saw +27% value sales growth during the first lockdown, showing that shoppers were not compromising on brands they know and trust during uncertain times. As more people have been working and studying at home, the brand has benefitted from 125 million additional in-home lunch occasions, growing by +56% year on year. We are aiming to continue this momentum as restrictions continue to ease, through a raft of innovation.

How is the squash market currently performing?

It has been a positive year for squash with +65% more people buying into the category in independent and symbol stores compared to last year.

Do you have any new product development?

This summer, we have relaunched Refresh’d to Robinsons Ready to Drink in two great-tasting flavours – Raspberry & Apple and Peach & Mango. It sports a brand-new look while delivering full taste with real fruit in every drop but with no added sugar, providing consumers with a refreshing and hydrating drink without compromise – as 50% of the population actively look to reduce their sugar intake.

The packaging update across the single-serve bottles will unite the portfolio under its well-known brand name, making it instantly recognisable in chillers while continuing momentum beyond take-home formats as lockdown restrictions continue to ease, helping retailers capitalise on the summer on-the-go opportunity.

We have more exciting plans in the pipeline for the remainder of 2021 and into 2022 to meet the needs of our growing audience who will be out and about more throughout the year and as restrictions continue to gradually lift.

How are you supporting your brand & NPD?

We have launched a £6.4m campaign, with TV, radio, digital, out of home and in-store activation. Bringing the great taste and real fruit message of the brand to life, the campaign encourages shoppers to liven up their tap water. The ‘Let There Be Fruit’ campaign will run through to September 2021, uniting the full Robinsons portfolio, including Robinsons Squash, Minis and Fruit Creations.

The TV support sees Robinsons squash back on screens for the first time in four years. Three versions of the advert look at the day-to-day routines of people and the situations they encounter, from gardening and exercising, to simply having a glass of water. The first advert features 1L Orange, Apple & Blackcurrant and Summer Fruits squash, while the second heroes Robinsons Fruit Creations Peach & Raspberry and the third focuses on Minis, encouraging consumers to liven up their water anywhere. Throughout the ads the Robinsons range and the ‘Let there be Fruit’ slogan is championed by children to liven up these everyday occurrences.

How important are independent retailers to your brand?

Independent retailers are incredibly important for Robinsons. As a brand we aim to add value for retailers not just by keeping our range of drinks accessible, relevant and exciting but also through category-leading merchandising and ranging advice.

In 2019, we introduced a range of premium options to the market by creating a good, better (Robinsons Creations) and best (Robinsons Cordials) offer that would attract new shoppers to the squash and dilutes category for independent retailers. These ranges mean that they can offer a Robinsons product for each member of the family. Robinsons Fruit Creations, offering grown up flavour combinations with twice the fruit, is now worth an impressive £27m, and Robinsons Fruit Cordials, offering a fruit and botanical proposition presented in a glass bottle, has grown by +8.9%.

What trends are occurring in the sector?

With government restrictions continuing to loosen at the time of writing, outdoor activity is set to be the main way to socialise for the foreseeable future. This will mean that an increasing number of customers will be out and about looking for a wide choice of soft drinks solutions on-the go, in addition for drinks to enjoy at home at barbecues and family gatherings. Robinsons has the perfect combination of products available to meet this consumer need, including the relaunched Robinsons Ready to Drink.

The value of low-calorie drinks is up +7.7% within total soft drinks so health is clearly high on people’s agenda. Sugar is a key consideration for shoppers, with 33% trying to reduce it in their diet by purchasing sugar free soft drinks. Robinsons’ no-added-sugar squashes are well placed to cater to those shoppers looking for low and no sugar alternatives.

Describe your brand in three words…

Fruity, Recognisable, Iconic