Britvic and PepsiCo are replacing 500ml PET bottles for four big low-sugar fizzy drink brands in the UK with 600ml versions. The switch to bigger bottles is being billed as an attempt to encourage healthier lifestyles because it is only low-sugar brands that will make the transition.
Under the Britvic and PepsiCo plans, 500ml bottles of Pepsi Diet, Pepsi Max, Tango, and 7Up Free will permanently switch to a 600ml size. Meanwhile, original Pepsi and 7UP will retain the 500ml format.
The bigger bottles of low-sugar fizzy drinks will hit UK shelves in April and will be sold at the same price as the old 500ml versions.
Explaining the switch, Garrett Quigley, CEO of Pepsi-Cola UK & Ireland, said: “By offering even greater value on our no-sugar variants, Pepsi Max, Diet Pepsi and 7UP Free, we want to encourage consumers to make a savvy switch to our no sugar varieties, as a part of a healthier lifestyle choice.”
This approach to encouraging healthier drinking contrasts with a recent Coca-Cola introduction of mini cans in the US. Instead of increasing the size of its low sugar products, Coca-Cola has introduced a smaller 7.5-fluid ounce can for its standard full-sugar Coca drink to help consumers better manage their calorie intake.
Of the four drinks to be sold in 600ml bottles under the PepsiCo / Britvic plans, Pepsi Max, Diet Pepsi and 7UP Free are low sugar Pepsi brands that are made, marketed, and sold in the UK by Britvic, while Tango is a Britvic brand.
Tango is an original brand, and not a low sugar version, but a Britvic spokesperson said the fizzy drink fits into the “health” strategy behind the 600ml bottles because it is itself a low sugar product.
Introducing a bigger bottle size is not all about the “health and wellness” trend. The 600ml PET bottles are also designed to better suit changing drinking habits.
Britvic said people are working longer hours, taking shorter lunch breaks, and looking for more “on the go refueling”. The soft drinks firm said larger pack sizes better meet this need.
To support the roll-out of the 600ml bottles, Britvic is spending £5m on a marketing campaign that will kick off on April 12. Advertising on TV, outdoors, and online will be supported by in-store promotion highlighting the value for money of the new range.