Landmark Wholesale is urging retailers to review their range of drinks and increase focus on zero- and low-sugar options, ahead of the soft drinks industry levy in April.

John Mills, managing director at Landmark, said the legislation is an opportunity for retailers to increase sales of soft drinks.

“Independent retailers are already seeing the fastest growth of low-sugar soft drink sales, rising 12.1% compared to 7.8% in the overall market,” he said.

David Poluck, of H. V. Kingsley in north London, said sales of Coca-Cola have already decreased, while sales of sugar-free Irn Bru have increased.

“We started to slowly phase out Pepsi cans, as Pepsi isn’t selling as well anymore, so when the levy comes in, we might just get rid of it all together,” he said.  

Mike Brown, of Brown’s Newsagents in Stokesley, said strawberry-flavoured water is also becoming popular with customers. 

However, he added lack of space could limit his range. “I don’t have the space to stock a wide variety of low-sugar drinks at the expense of the shop looking cluttered,” he said.