Soft drinks exports from the UK are on the rise

Soft drinks exports from the UK are on the rise

A weakening post-Brexit pound is expected to continue driving UK soft drinks exports this year after first-half sales soared by 13%, according to new figures.

Soft drinks hit GBP200.4m (US$264m) in overseas sales, the Food & Drink Federation (FDF) said today, putting the category sixth on the list of top UK food and drink exports. Volumes also increased, up 3%.

The FDF said a weaker pound at the start of 2016 boosted the UK's exports in the first half of the year. "With the price of the pound falling further since the end of June 2016, following the EU referendum result, it is expected there will be a further rise in exports before the end of the year," the group added.

For food and non-alcoholic drinks overall, exports were up 9% to GBP6.6bn. Ireland remained the top export destination, accounting for GBP1.5bn in sales, up 1% from last year. France was second with GBP702m, up 2%.

FDF director general Ian Wright said: "Following a weaker performance in 2015, the growth of value-added exports we've seen in H1 is excellent news for our industry and a positive step toward achieving FDF's export ambition. It's also very pleasing to see non-EU exports performing beyond expectations, with UK firms taking advantage of increased competitiveness.

"We eagerly await the launch of the government's export plan to see how it intends to support our industry overseas in a time of prospective economic uncertainty."

This month, the FDF launched a guideline to reducing sugar levels in soft drinks to help small companies deal with an incoming sugar levy in the UK. The FDF had previously called for the tax to be put on hold in the wake of the Brexit vote.

Expert analysis

Soft Drinks (UK) - Industry Report

Soft Drinks (UK) - Industry Report

Plimsoll Publishing’s Soft Drinks (UK) Analysis provides a detailed overview of the UK Soft Drinks (UK) market and delivers a comprehensive individual analysis on the top 210 companies, including RED ...read more