A report issued by AC Nielsen indicates that UK consumers are now spending more on cold soft drinks as they do on bread and, twice as much on cold drinks as they do hot.

Coca-Cola continues to be king of AC Nielsen's top 100 UK brands, closely followed by Pepsi which, AC Nielsen says, accounts for 20% of sales. But one of the biggest growth areas seen so far in the UK is mineral water.

Still mineral waters are now worth 62% of sales in the UK with own labels now ahead of Danone-owned Evian and Volvic, with 27% sales. A wider choice of flavours has helped growth in both still and sparkling water as well as more convenient on the go bottle sizes.

Silver Springs Perfectly Clear has grown 50% since last year and is now worth 5% of fruit carbonates.

Milk based drinks, although only 3% of the soft drinks sector, also continue to see huge growth.

A spokesman for AC Nielsen said: "We have seen huge growth from yoghurt drinks again driven by product innovation. Two products in particular - Actimel and L C I - dominate a health targeted campaign, with the product providing nutrients as well as aiding digestion."

"Then there is Yop, made by Yoplait, which appeals to children and has also seen excellent performance promoting a larger size as well as their lunch box and multipacks."

Continuing on the theme of healthy options, the energy and health drinks sector is up by 38% and Red Bull, designed to "give you wings" so it claims, has seen sales increase by almost 300% through grocery alone and it now accounts for 23% of sales.

Focusing on convenience, Tropicana has seen the biggest growth accelerating at 25.8% according to figures for the last quarter.

Though as stores demand longer shelf life and the ability to retain superior taste consistency, figures show that the freshly squeezed category is showing a rapid decline in sales of 59.2%.

Sunny Delight's popularity has dwindled somewhat since its August peak and recent press reports and, as a result, sales for the one time favourite have dropped by a massive 43.1%, compared to a year ago. And, as a direct result of Sunny Delight's falling sales figures, the Total Chilled Fruit Juice Sector has also showed a decline over the last quarter of 7.5%.

Also reflected by Sunny Delight's declining performance is the Total Chilled Juice Drinks Market which is down 32.2%.

Even petrol stations have not escaped the Sunny Delight decline as 'children's favourite'. But Tropicana is enjoying a 34.8% growth in the last quarter in the forecourt sector along with freshly squeezed juice which is showing a 22.7% growth.

However, one product to watch is Britvic's Juice Up.

Britvic, which has yet to start its advertising campaign for Juice Up claim to be 30% over its "pretty aggressive" forecast, only weeks after its launch into the UK market.

Andrew Marsden, Britvic marketing director told just drinks: "We're thrilled, it is still early days but it is going fantastically well."

But, even with Sunny Delight's decline and stores demanding a longer shelf life the total Chilled Fruit Juice Sector in the UK still grew by 12.2% and the Total Juice Category in the UK is worth around £988m. So, overall the cold soft drinks industry is flourishing and its future in the UK looks as though it is going to be a bright one.

Sarah Diston