Pepsi beats Coke in UK pubs and bars

Pepsi beats Coke in UK pubs and bars

Pepsi overtook Coca-Cola to become the on-trade’s best selling soft drink in 2009, industry figures show.

Pepsi sales grew by 10% in 2009 to GBP475m (US$712m), according to the 2010 Britvic Soft Drinks Report published today (30 March).

While cola drinks remained the licensed trade’s largest sub-category with value growth of 4% during the year to GBP982m, Pepsi had the better year, according to the report.

Pepsi took 2.8 share points to knock Coca-Cola off the top spot in the on-trade by value, said Britvic, which holds the licence to PepsiCo drinks, including Pepsi, in the UK and Ireland.

Pepsi’s GBP475m sales included good performances from both regular and diet variants, it said.

Cola drinks in general had a 41% share of on-trade drinks sales in 2009. 

R-White Lemonade became the third biggest on-trade brand, while squash also performed well with sales of GBP178m, up 5% on 2008. Flavoured carbonates, buoyed by Irn-Bru’s 5% growth, also enjoyed strong growth of 10% in the on-trade, said the report.

Juice drinks sales declined by 2% over the year. Energy drinks also dropped 2% as consumers switched away from the ‘vodka and Redbull’ trend.

In the off-trade, for the second year running, cola drinks increased their leadership of the sector by growing 4% in value and increasing market share to 22%.

Pepsi Max saw value sales increase 9%, making it the fastest growing major cola brand, while Tropicana was impacted by the trend of trading down from pure juice with sales down 5.7%.

Coca-Cola, however, retained its position as the top brand in the off-trade, followed by GSK's Lucozade and Britvic's Robinsons.

Murray Harris, sales director at Britvic, said: “For the second year in a row, the soft drinks category has proven that the secret to resilience is providing good old fashioned value for money, but not ignoring the fact enjoyment is still a huge motivational factor.

“The big question now is that as the economy improves, will consumers return to their pre-recession spending habits or is the budget mindset here to stay,” he added.

For just-drinks comment on the decline of the smoothie market, click here.