Water gained in volumes and sales last year

Water gained in volumes and sales last year

Off-premise bottled water sales in the UK surged last year, as squash drinks floundered in a rain-lashed 12 months, new figures from Britvic have shown.

Plain water saw a 4% sales increase in 2012, with volumes up by 2.3%, according to the Soft Drinks Review 2013 published by Britvic this week. “Water plus”, which includes sparkling and flavoured water, performed even better, up by 7.4% in sales and 7.7% in volumes, the report said.

The figures are based on Mintel research in the grocery, impulse and convenience channels in the UK.

In contrast, squash sales in the three channels were up by just 1.8% while volumes slumped by 5%.

The figures dovetail with Britvic's full-year results in November, which blamed bad weather for a drop in sales and profits in the country. Britvic owns the Robinson's squash brand, and last year was involved in a costly recall of its Fruit Shoot range.

Energy drinks remained impervious to the country's weather woes, climbing by 10% in sales value and 9% in volumes, the report said. Meanwhile fruit juice and smoothie maker Innocent had a strong year, boosting sales by 32% and volumes by 53% in the grocery, impulse and convenience channels.

Overall, the soft drinks industry saw sales value increase by 2.8% in 2012 and volumes dip by 0.8% in the three channels. Pub and club volumes were down by 3%, the report said, while sales value in the channel edged up by 1.5%.