Britvics J2O juice brand is hurting in the UKs pubs and clubs

Britvic's J2O juice brand is hurting in the UK's pubs and clubs

Britvic's on-trade brands in the UK are being squeezed by consumer moves from packaged drinks to dispensed versions, the company has said.

In a conference call with investors today (18 October), Britvic CFO John Gibney said the UK pub and club market lost 8% in volume and 3% in value in the 12 weeks to the end of July. The fall was partly due to bad weather, but consumer belt tightening was also to blame, with Britvic's premium juice brands, such as J2O, bearing the brunt.

"(The pub and club) market place continues to be under pressure," Gibney said. “But while we've continued to perform well, we've seen a continuation of consumer behaviour focused on value offerings. That's what's pulling them into various outlets. Once they get into the outlet they are still chasing value.

“What that means is that J2O and Britvic juices are under more pressure in the pub channel as people switch to dispensed simply driven by price comparisons.”

Gibney said a trend towards pubs offering free refills on dispensed drinks is further squeezing demand for J2O and other juices, while J2O, Britvic's single highest-priced product, also faced pressure in the off-trade.

In full-year results released earlier today, Britvic's net sales fell by 2.6% to GBP1.26bn (US$2.04bn) as the effects of this year's Fruit Shoot product recall started to bite.