Britvic Soft Drinks Report 2010

While pre-recessionary spending was all about juices, waters and smoothies, 2009 saw the return of carbonates.

Data remains sketchy on bakery retail, coffee shops and sandwich bars, given the impossibility of tracking a large pool of independents. The closest sector to extract value sales of soft drinks from is cafés and takeaways, where sales soared by 12% (Nielsen MAT December 2009).

Within foodservice channels, the revival of cola (+3%) and lemonade (+9%) came at the expense of water (-10%) and fruit juice (-3%).

"It’s important to get an understanding of the broad shift in dynamics," said Britvic’s customer management director Murray Harris. "People are going back to the mainstream. As we come out of recession, they will begin to experiment more and put in some still drinks and healthier options."

The rise of café chains will also see the big suppliers target niche brands at the market. "There is a move towards coffee culture and those categories are doing very well indeed," he said. "We have a number of products grouped into what we call C Brands fairly niche but have the opportunity to be scaled such as the natural health drink Purdeys, which goes very well with food. We’ll be driving those in conurbations with indepen-dent sandwich shops."

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