Me and My Brand: Chelsea Bate of Boost Drinks

Chelsea Bate, Assistant Trade Marketing Manager, Boost Drinks, explains how Boost’s loyalty to the convenience channel is paying dividends as the brand expands into soft drinks

Chelsea Bate

Can you please give an overview of your brand?

Boost Drinks is a leading functional drinks challenger brand, operating in four key soft drinks categories: energy, sport, protein and most recently, iced coffee. As a brand we remain exclusive to the independent convenience channel and I’m hugely proud to be a part of championing independent retail. Our vision, to energise everybody in every way, is something we live and breathe as a business and we work hard each day to see that translate into success for our partners in independent retail.

How is your brand currently performing?

The Boost brand continues to be one of the big players in the market; in independent convenience Boost Original is the third largest selling energy stimulation SKU and Boost is the second largest selling sports drink brand[1]. On top of that, we are the number one soft drink brand in Northern Ireland and Iced Coffee, which is the latest addition to the Boost range, is the #1 fastest growing ready-to-drink (RTD) Iced Coffee Brand across GB and NI[2], something we are incredibly proud of. We are continually looking for opportunities to add value to the category; we have recently acquired the sales, marketing and distribution rights for the soft drink brand Rio, and have some ambitious plans for both brands for the rest of 2021 and beyond.

How is the energy drink market currently performing?

The soft drinks market as a whole continues to perform strongly, despite what has been a tough year for retail. It is currently worth £1.84 billion, with the energy and sport category the largest sub-segment of this, worth over £617 million and growing +12% YOY in value sales[3]. Energy Stimulation is providing a huge 97%[4] of total soft drinks growth, and we expect this trend to continue into the colder months.

Do you have any new product development?

2021 has been a really exciting year for us for NPD, and we’ve been working hard as a team to introduce two new SKUs across our range. Firstly, we launched a new Caramel Latte Iced Coffee flavour in March this year, building on the success of our Iced Coffee range, which debuted in 2020, and we’re delighted to announce that we’re now the #1 fastest growing RTD Iced Coffee brand![5] The ready-to-drink (RTD) Iced Coffee Market is currently worth £27.5m, growing at +36% volume and +35% value YOY[6], so it’s no surprise that it’s been a strong summer for the category, particularly as 30% of hot coffee drinkers are opting for iced variants during the warmer months[7]. Caramel flavoured iced drinks are the fastest growing flavour out of all other variants, growing +107% YOY[8], so our new Caramel Latte will be a great addition to the fixture.

In addition, in April this year, we expanded our already popular energy flavours portfolio with the introduction of a brand-new Mango 250ml Energy SKU. We are the only mainstream brand to offer this on-trend Mango flavour in a 250ml size can, which is one of the fastest growing flavours in the energy drink category, growing at +22% year-on-year in volume sales[9].

How are you supporting your brand & NPD?

As Boost turns 20 this year, we are confident that 2021 will be an exciting year for the brand, which will see us celebrating two decades of supporting independent convenience and remaining exclusive to the sector.

To support the brand across our existing ranges and NPD launches and to drive buzz and excitement within the category, we’ve been rolling out a comprehensive multi-channel marketing activation plan, targeting both trade and consumer audiences. This included digital engagement, in-depot support such as sampling, and distribution driving activity across GB and NI. Our Choose Now campaign is our biggest ATL campaign to date, including TV and OOH.

Free POS is also available for retailers on our dedicated trade website to help grab the consumers’ attention, attract shoppers to the fixture and drive incremental basket spend in-store.

How important are independent retailers to your brand?

Boost is all about the independent sector. Since starting in business 20 years ago we have worked hard to ensure that retailers are at the heart of everything we do, and our We Love Local ethos remains front and centre. As we celebrate our 20th birthday, we continue our commitment to everything independent. For our milestone birthday, we have a host of celebrations, events and prizes on the horizon, and I’m really looking forward to celebrating with those who have supported Boost’s journey through the years, whether they are partners, customers or colleagues.

What trends are occurring in the sector?

Flavours are a big trend for 2021, particularly in the soft drinks sector. Flavours now make up a huge 38% of the stimulation market and are in 24% growth year-on-year[10], which is why we are delighted to be further enhancing our flavour offering with the two new highly popular flavours, Mango and Caramel.

As the UK continues to recover from the impact of Coronavirus, consumers also remain understandably driven by value offerings, so it is no surprise to learn that price-marked packs (PMPs) account for over 60% of total soft drink sales in independent and symbol convenience stores[11]. Our PMPs are available across our entire portfolio, communicating great value to the consumer without compromising on the promise of excellent cash margins for retailers.

Describe your brand in three words… 



[1]IRI Marketplace Data Symbols & Independents 52 weeks unit sales to 13th June 2021

[2]IRI Marketplace Data Symbols & Independents 52 weeks unit sales to 13th June 2021

[3]IRI Marketplace Data Symbols & Independents 52 weeks unit sales to 13th June 2021

[4]IRI Marketplace Data Symbols & Independents 52 weeks unit sales to 13th June 2021

[5]IRI Marketplace Data Symbols & Independents 52 weeks unit sales to 13th June 2021

[6]IRI Marketplace Data Symbols & Independents 52 weeks unit sales to 13th June 2021

[7] Cousins Davis U&A research

[8] IRI Marketplace, Symbols and Independents, Volume data, 52 w/e 06.09.20

[9]  IRI Marketplace Data Symbols & Independents 52 weeks volume sales to 6th September 2020

[10] IRI Marketplace Data Symbols & Independents 52 weeks volume sales to 13th June 2021

[11]AC Nielsen MAT Total Soft drinks independents and symbols w.e. 21.03.20