Soft drinks delivered more growth to convenience retailers than any other food and drink category in 2022, according to Britvic in its latest Soft Drinks Review.
Now worth £2.8bn to the convenience channel, soft drinks saw a sales surge of £347.4m last year, an increase of 14.1%, the supplier said, citing IRI figures.
Speaking at the launch of the Soft Drinks Review, Reena Bilakhia, head of channel development at Britvic, said they delivered more money to convenience store tills than beer, wine & spirits, crisps, snacks & nut and confectionery combined.
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Energy drinks were the key sales driver, responsible for £96.9m (28%) of the growth. Cola and plain water followed, each contributing just over £70m. Sales of plain water surged in particular due to the heatwave last summer.
Fruity flavour profiles and new launches were also in demand. Pepsi Max‘s Cherry, Raspberry and Lime varieties grew by £6.3m in 2022 – a 16.9% increase. This delivered more growth for convenience retailers than all other flavoured colas combined.
Additionally, the limited-edition Tango Berry Peachy Sugar Free was the number-one new carbonated drinks launch, driving 49.3% growth for the Tango Sugar Free range with £3.3m in sales.
As a category viewed by shoppers as an ‘affordable treat’, soft drinks was also one of the few categories to outperform own-label growth. Own-label soft drinks are growing by 2%, 3.1% behind the overall category – this is the lowest FMCG category growth compared to branded products.
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The supplier has also highlighted five key drivers for retailers to consider to continue growing their soft drinks sales this year, worth £8,400 per store. These are:
- Recruiting Generation Z worth £72m or £1,504/store
- Winning with food worth £80m or £1,672/store
- Maximising health worth £52m or £1,086/store
- Simplifying shopping experiences worth £96m or £2,006/store
- Evolving energy worth £100m or £2,089/store
Ben Parker, GB retail commercial director at Britvic, said: “Soft drinks featured in nearly one in four (22.9%) c-store shopping baskets last year, whereas all other impulse categories suffered purchase declines. The opportunity soft drinks is creating, when the right range is on offer, is hard to ignore and it’s important for retailers to make the most of the category, particularly during challenging times. Energy drinks and cola are flying high, and we’ve also seen that adding interesting, limited-edition flavours into the mix can pay big dividends in driving impulse sales when it comes to on-the-go formats.”
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