A “positive climate” in 2010 supported soft drinks sales in 2010

A “positive climate” in 2010 supported soft drinks sales in 2010

Consumer confidence in the UK soft drinks industry suffered last year, with conditions forecast to be challenging for the remainder of 2011, according to Zenith International.

The soft drinks industry performed positively in the UK last year, the global research firm said yesterday (13 April), however it was not without its challenges. A number of factors, including rising living costs, contributed to a dip in consumer's confidence in the industry.

Speaking at the UK Soft Drinks Industry conference in Leeds, Zenith's commercial consultant, Matt Wilton, said that last year was "not an easy environment to trade in".

"In 2010, we saw a positive performance in the soft drinks market, continuing the momentum from 2009, but it was a tough year and economically challenging," Wilton said.

Despite this, he said that a "positive climate" in 2010 supported sales in the market. "The sun has been described as the best sales person and it helped [in 2010] as it was generally dry," he added.

However, looking to the remainder of 2011, Wilton said that conditions suggest "challenges are on the way".

"It is no great surprise that 2011 looks tough," he said, adding that, while the forecast for this year is one of stability, spending cuts, the VAT hike and rising living costs will affect consumer confidence.

Nonetheless, he said there is potential for growth this year. "It is attainable if we remain affordable, available and accessible," Wilton concluded.