Lucozade Ribena Suntory (LRS) has unveiled plans to nearly double the size of the soft drinks market within three years, generating £179.5m extra sales for independents.

The strategy forms part of a wider plan to add £1.4bn to the soft drinks market.

We spoke to Matt Gouldsmith, wholesale channel director at LRS, to reveal what store owners need to do to drive sales.

Active .png1. Active and effective lives 

Growth value for independents:  £44.3m

Must-stock products: Lucozade Energy, Red Bull, Monster, Lucozade Sport

“Seventy-seven per cent of adults exercise every week. These brands already do very well in independent stores, so this is a key area for retailers,” says Gouldsmith.

The opportunity: Get 25% more of your shoppers to buy into drinks that support an active lifestyle

Healthy goodness.png2. Healthy goodness

Growth value for independents: £24.1m

Must-stock products: True Nopal, Vita Coco, Innocent

“Sixty per cent of all food choices are now selected for health benefits and 156 million more healthier soft drinks were consumed last year compared to the year before. Shoppers that buy into this area tend to be mid-higher income earners and health conscious shoppers,” Gouldsmith explains.

The opportunity: Get target shoppers to buy these products one more time each month

Tasty Healthier.png3. Tasty healthier refreshments

Growth value for independents: £30m

Must-stock products: Coca-Cola Zero, Pepsi Max, Irn-Bru, Ribena, Lucozade Zero

“Our brands are a great place to capitalise on this sector. Looking at the most recent data, we’re growing ahead of the market. This is a key area for retailers whose customer base includes lower-mid affluence adults and families,” says Gouldsmith. “Switching shoppers to diet carbonates, juice and juice drinks and squash will help unlock this potential.”

The opportunity: Get regular soft drinks shoppers to switch to lower-sugar alternatives and buy two more per year

Food.png4. With food

Growth value for independents: £18.9m

Must-stock products: No specific products, but driven by meal deals and stocking take-home lines with evening meals

“In symbols and independent stores, 51% of shoppers buy lunch without a soft drink. Meal deals are a great way of encouraging shoppers to pick up these extra items. Similarly, evening meals and soft drinks are a great link, which retailers can drive with larger take-home bottles,” Gouldsmith says.

The opportunity: Get shoppers to buy soft drinks on four more trips per year when they buy food.

Water.png5. Water lovers

Growth value for independents: £31.9m

“The water market is expected to grow by 21% by 2023. With 61% of shoppers replacing some sugary drinks consumption with bottled water, this is a key area of the market. Retailers need to keep in mind that some shoppers can find water boring, despite the fact they know it’s best for them, so flavoured waters are must stocks,” says Gouldsmith.

The opportunity: Get water shoppers to buy six more times per year

Special.png6. Special experiences

Growth value for independents: £30m

“Mixers are one of the fastest growing segments in convenience, but with 39% of shoppers limiting their alcohol intake there is an opportunity to encourage shoppers to mark celebrations with premium soft drinks. Shoppers are more likely to trade up in grocers than they are in convenience, so if retailers can close the gap, they can make more money,” says Gouldsmith.

The opportunity: Trade mid-to-higher income shoppers up into premium soft drinks once a month.