There were mixed fortunes for soft drinks sales across the food service sector last year, according to the 2010 Britvic Soft Drinks Report.
The report, which uses independent data from Nielsen, showed that while sales of soft drinks in pubs and bars proved resilient in the recession by growing in value to £2.4b, hotels, restaurants and other catering outlets as a whole saw soft drinks sales reduce by 3% to £231m.
Hotels and workplace catering fared the worst, with 10% and 5% declines respectively, the latter attributed to an increase in people taking packed lunches to work to save money. Fast-food outlets and cafés bucked the trend, with sales rising 12% to £30m.
In pubs, a 3% growth placed soft drinks sales ahead of spirits for the first time to become the licensed trade's second best-performing category behind beer. The report found that soft drinks benefited from the continued shift towards licensed outlets becoming destination establishments that placed a greater focus on family and food.
The strongest growth in pubs was shown by flavoured carbonates, up 10%, and squash, up 5%, while cola and lemonade both performed well, up 4%. However, juice drinks declined by 2% to £228m and energy drinks sales also dropped by 2%, to £108m.
In hotels, restaurants and leisure outlets, cola was the fastest-growing sub-category with sales up 6% to £34m. It strengthened its hold on the number three position behind fruit juice and fruit drinks, while fourth-placed still water saw a heavy decline of 10%.