2011 UK carbonate sales fizz while fruit juice stalls

By Ben Bouckley

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Energy drinks Energy drink Juice

Picture Copyright: Vinny/Flickr
Picture Copyright: Vinny/Flickr
UK volume sales of fruit juices and dilutables fell last year, according to a new report from the British Soft Drinks Association (BSDA) but carbonates, smoothies and sports drinks all saw growth.

The BSDA’s 2012 ‘UK Soft Drinks Report’, prepared by food and beverage consultancy Zenith International, showed continued declines in UK fruit juice consumption since 2007.

Consumers drank 1,16bn litres in the UK last year, a 1.7% fall, but the category (worth ₤1.835bn) has been in decline since 2007 (1,230 litres drunk) despite the BSDA reporting widespread promotional activity by producers and retailers.

“Fruit juice sales have struggled against an economic background of rising prices and reduced disposable incomes within households,”​ the report authors wrote.

Juice from concentrate suffered due to large commodity price hikes, and as a result of the price difference between chilled and ambient juice becoming smaller than in 2010.

Smoothie success

Smoothies – classed within chilled fruit juices by the report – saw success by adjusting premium prices to help cash-strapped consumers, with strong volume growth of 11% (55m litres in 2011), while value sales grew 8% to ₤152m.

“By finding an affordable price point in 2011, smoothies continued to provide consumers with a tasty on-the-go alternative to one or two of their five-a-day,”​ the report writers noted.

Sports and energy drinks also performed well, with two major Lucozade (Lucozade Revive) and Ribena (Ribena Plus) launches, the latter to with added vitamins and calcium.

The report identified good growth potential for this category to grow beyond its 2011 level of ₤1.69bn by value, with 660m litres sold last year.

Private-label sports drinks

More reasonably priced sports drinks on sale last year – such as private label offerings – enabled broader market access, the report said, with the category growing 4.5% in volume to 165m litres and value of ₤270m.

As for energy drinks, which saw 12.5% growth to 495m litres consumed: “People with longer working hours and more stressful lives continue to use energy drinks to help get them through their busy lives.

The ₤1.42bn energy drinks market also remained very popular among young male consumers with a variety of flavour innovations, the BSDA report said.

Carbonates were another success story, with the UK’s largest soft drinks category (worth ₤8.49bn in 2011) up 6.1% in value terms, while volumes also grew 4.1% to 6.6bn litres.

Growth was mainly driven by cola, energy drinks and also fruit-flavoured variants in 2011, the report authors said, with consumers sticking to traditional favourites and larger pack sizes to drink at home, due to fewer nights out and increasing food and beverage prices.

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