A Winter's Tale: Britvic strives to sell Brits warm cordials


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The British food section in a Florida, USA supermarket (Picture Copyright: Matt Kelland)
The British food section in a Florida, USA supermarket (Picture Copyright: Matt Kelland)
UK drinks giant Britvic tells BeverageDaily.com that it is launching a new drive to encourage wintertime squash consumption, as it plans a major product launch this September.

With general UK squash sales hit by another wet summer, new limited edition variety Robinsons Red Berries - which the firm will suggest to consumers that they drink warm - will spearhead Britvic's autumn-winter efforts.

Squash or ‘liquid concentrates’ were worth a massive €2.92bn ( in Western Europe in 2011, with France the most lucrative market (€881.3m), then the UK (€663.9m), Euromonitor International statistics show.

However, despite a slight consumption dip last year, the UK led the way last year in volume terms (414.5m litres) over France (217.5m); Holland took third spot (55.1m).

'Challenging time' for squash

Britvic GB marketing director, Jonathan Gatward, said: “Winter can be a challenging time for the squash category, as many consumers reach for hot drinks.

“Following a successful small-scale trial last year, we are confident Red Berries will prove popular with retailers and consumers alike,”​ he added.

So does Britvic plan to modify its marketing and advertising messages to encourage a change in squash consumption patterns during winter. For example, encouraging children to drink warm squash at bedtime, rather than in the daytime as per summer?

Spokeswoman Suzanne Surridge told this publication: “Drinking Red Berries warm is one option, they [children] can also have it cold. It just extends the occasions.”

In an April 2012 briefing on UK concentrates, Euromonitor International noted that squash was one of the cheapest drinks on sale, on a per serving basis, and sold well during the recession.

Robinsons keeps cordial lead

Britvic kept its top spot in concentrates with 37% of off-trade value sales in 2011, the research firm said, with Robinsons the strongest brand in all the major supermarkets, with the widest range of flavors and ranges.

Euromonitor said that in 2011, 70% of off-trade value sales came from just three flavors: orange, blackcurrant, blackcurrant and apple.

“However, new flavors are likely to see acceptance among consumers over the forecast period [2011 to 2016], provided the products involved are of good quality and relatively healthy," ​the firm noted.

Forecasting an off-trade volume sales increase for liquid concentrates of 8% over the forecast period, Euromonitor said a harsh ongoing economic climate meant UK consumers would continue to seek value for money in squash.

“The category is also expected to see strong performance over the forecast period, as a result of double concentrate products becoming more popular,”​ the research firm said.

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