UK: Poor weather hits 2012 soft drinks volumes

By | 9 May 2013

Energy drinks are bucking the trend in the UK, along with bottled waters

Energy drinks are bucking the trend in the UK, along with bottled waters

UK sales of soft drinks fell by 2.5% in volume terms last year, but energy drinks and bottled waters bucked the trend, a new report has revealed.

The study, published by the British Soft Drinks Association yesterday (8 May), cited poor summer weather, rising raw material and energy costs and the economic climate as reasons for the drop-off, as 2012 volumes fell to GBP14.2bn litres. However, sales by value grew by 3.3% to around GBP15bn (US$23.3bn).

Bottled waters and energy drinks were the only categories to see volume gains. Sales of waters grew by 3.3% in volume to 2.1m litres. A "late summer heat wave", the Diamond Jubilee, the Olympics and "signifcant brand activation" boosted growth, the BSDA said. 

Energy drink volumes grew by 9.7% to 475m litres. Sales by value rose by 12.8% to GBP1.4bn. "Nonetheless, price competition in an increasingly crowded segment is a challenge for producers," the report said.

Meanwhile, sports drinks saw a drop in volumes from 165m litres in 2011 to 155m litres as "cost-conscious consumers reduced their spending," the report said.

Volumes for carbonates, dilutables and fruit juices were also down. 

Sales of soft drinks with no added sugar continued to account for the majority of the market, representing 61% of sales. Drinks with added sugar accounted for 39% of the market. 

“It’s been a tough year for the economy, but the soft drinks industry has come through it well," said Gavin Partington, the BSDA's director general. "Keeping in touch with people’s tastes is central to the industry’s success, as the prominent role of drinks without added sugar shows.”
report from Britvic last month also suggested water was faring better than other soft drinks categories.

Expert analysis

The Future of the UK Non-Alcoholic Drinks Packaging to 2017

The Future of the UK Non-Alcoholic Drinks Packaging to 2017 is a data only report providing extensive and highly detailed time series consumption data on primary and outer packaging in the market The report provides in-depth quantitative data on retail non-alcoholic drinks packaging, covering key segmentations such as pack material and type, closure material and type, outer and multi-pack information, for the latest financial year (current year) and the extreme ends of the historical and forecast periods

Sectors: Soft drinks, Water

Companies: British Soft Drinks Association, Britvic

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