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National Drink


Soft Drinks is a hugely profitable sector and has continued to hold its own during the tough economic conditions experienced in the UK recently, with the average contribution to total turnover in pubs at an impressive 14%. Unsurprisingly, Soft Drinks sales have been dominated by the big brands with popular sub-categories like cola, squash and juice drinks being favoured by consumers.


In recent years the variety of choice available has grown significantly. Other factors fuelling the figures for Soft Drinks sales are the growth of food and family occasions and the fact that Soft Drinks are now widely seen as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. An extended Soft Drinks range not only appeals to children but also caters for adults as well since they are far more likely to select a product from this sector if they are in the company of children. Finally, Premium Drinks have been benefited from the customer demand for Soft Drinks which combine a strong health appeal with eye-catching packaging.


The two horse race continues between Coca-Cola Enterprises and Pepsi owner Britvic in the Cola Wars that

dominate the Soft Drinks sector. Colas are nearly £1 billion in sales alone. Hot on their heels is Red Bull. The

Britvic Soft Drinks Report points to the continued strength of cola, as well as the steady progress of squash,

fruit juice and flavoured carbonates. However, Energy Drinks are the fastest growing sector in the Soft Drinks

market and consumers are increasingly asking for them, with Red Bull, the clear market leader, boasting an

impressive 75% share.


In terms of the major brands, J20 has achieved the distinction of being the biggest selling packaged drink, pushing Magners into second place, whilst Coca-Cola remains the largest brand with Pepsi close behind.


Soft Drinks continue to out perform the overall drinks market in the licensed trade. The smoking ban has undoubtedly encouraged more families, females and mixed groups to visit the pub and the effect of this has been to consolidate the relative resilience of the Soft Drinks Sector to the overall downturn in the economy.