The soft sell
Thursday 20th March 2003 16:24
Changing consumer attitudes over health and drink driving campaigns mean that more people are choosing soft drinks at Christmas time, whether it's a family meal, a drink with friends or an office Christmas party.
Soft drinks is the fourth biggest category at Christmas time, worth £501 million last year, a rise of four per cent and a total of 143 million litres of soft drinks were consumed last winter.
Research from Britvic Soft Drinks indicates that most consumers prefer premium packaged soft drinks as opposed to draught. Cola held the biggest value share of soft drinks - 41 per cent, worth over £200 million with volume and value growth driven by gains in both Pepsi and Coca-Cola (nine per cent and 10 per cent respectively).
The third biggest sub-category with a 13 per cent market share was fruit juice/drinks. Brands such as J20 and Fruit Shoot from Robinsons have been hugely successful.
Draught soft drinks had a strong performance last Christmas with value growth exceeding volume at nine per cent and six per cent respectively.
When it comes to New Year, 30 per cent of adult alcohol consumers cut down their drinking at the pub, with half of those continuing their resolution for three months or more. This was just one of the results from an Omnibus survey commissioned by Britvic.
It showed that just under half of those "on the wagon" directly replace alcohol with soft drinks, with fruit juice, colas and fizzy fruit drinks coming out top.
To help maximise soft drinks sales, Britvic has launched a new management tool for customers - SmartSolutions. Three new category strategies are at the heart of the programme, applying to all four key occasions for soft drinks - drink, food, activity and event. The three strategies are:
* Premiumisation - encouraging consumers to buy a better soft drink.
* Frequency - encouraging consumers to buy a soft drink every time they visit an outlet.
* Buy more volume - focusing mainly on draught, offering drinkers greater volume.