Healthier versions of carbonated drinks continue to prove popular

Healthier versions of carbonated drinks continue to prove popular

More than a third of UK soft drink carbonates consumption is now diet, low calorie or no-added sugar, a new industry report has revealed. 

The 2012 UK Soft Drinks report, released today (10 May), shows that carbonates remained the largest share of the sector with consumption up 4.1% in 2011 - with 38% of that consumption now diet, low calorie or no-added sugar. 

The report, published by the British Soft Drinks Association (BSDA), says: "Due to increasing food and drink prices (in 2011), consumers became less experimental and stuck to traditional favourites. People were going out less and bought soft drinks, especially carbonates, to consume at home."

Overall consumption of soft drinks in the UK last year grew slightly by 0.7% to 14.6bn litres, or 253.3 litres per person, the report claims. The industry grew in value by 5.1% to GBP14.5bn (US$23.44bn).

The report notes: “2011 was another tough year for the UK soft drinks industry with real price pressures from higher commodity prices and disappointing summer weather. 

“Consumers maintained their recessionary spending habits and therefore value was the key market driver in 2011.”

However sports and energy drinks again performed well. The category grew by 10%, reaching 660m litres, while total value across all channels hit around GBP1.69bn. 

“People with longer working hours and more stressful lives continue to use energy drinks to help them get through their busy lives,” the report says. “Also, energy drinks remain very popular amongst young male consumers with a variety of flavour innovations.” 

Fruit juice and smoothies grew in retail value by 4.2% to reach GBP1.8bn. 

Richard Laming, BSDA media director, said: “The business climate may have been difficult, but the soft drinks industry is a living example of how long-term commitment can lead to long-term success.”

For a full copy of the report, click here