Don’t overlook “light” soft drinks if you want to give your range to be as profitable as possible.

This was the advice from Coca-Cola Enterprises as it announced ongoing heavy investment into its lights portfolio this year.

[pull_quote_center]Retailers are totally missing an opportunity[/pull_quote_center]

Coke-Zero-500ml

Caroline Cater, CCE operational marketing director, said many independent retailers are slow to adapt to some trends and diet and low-calorie drinks is often an area not well covered in soft drink ranges. “If we take Coke Zero 500ml as an example, it’s not available in six out of 10 independent and symbol stores.

“That’s despite it growing 22% year-on-year and a recent £3m TV campaign for it,” she said. “Independents should really explore trends. They don’t tend to have the same access to insight and data as some of the national chains have, so they should make the most of reps that walk through the door. They’re totally missing an opportunity.”

CCE kicked off the year with its ‘Just add zero’ campaign for Coke Zero, and has just launched an on-pack promotion on eight million take-home packs of Diet Coke until the end of this month. The promotion targets fashion fans by offering shoppers free copies of Look and Now magazines.

Why stock lights?

  • Light carbonated soft drinks are worth £1bn, growing 2.5% year on year
  • They make up 40% of total carbonates

Meanwhile, a “mid-calorie” special edition Fanta flavour has joined the market. Fanta Raspberry and Passionfruit will help retailers capitalise on the growing popularity of tropical flavours and, as it contains stevia, it has fewer calories than regular variants. It is available in all pack formats, with a 330ml can and 500ml bottle available in 59p and £1 price-marked packs, respectively, for independent retailers.