Britvic's annual Soft Drinks Review has revealed the extent of the untapped potential for soft drinks in the UK foodservice and licensed channel.
According to Britvic, despite economic uncertainty following last year's EU referendum and a Soft Drinks Industry Levy, launched in the Spring of 2016, soft drinks have continued to grow in the UK foodservice and licensed channels with a total value of £6.7b, up 3.3% since 2015.
The success and resilience of the UK Eating Out Market, which has grown by 2.3% to £87.2b in 2016, is also noteworthy given the dip in consumer confidence post referendum and the increasing popularity of sophisticated takeaway services.
Unveiled at a recent media launch of Britvic's Soft Drinks Review, the company identified four main drivers of growth in the foodservice and licensed channels in 2016:
• The continued trend for premiumisation
• Increased incidence of socialising occasions that involve food
• Consumer interest in healthy living, and
• Improvements made to personalise consumers' experience
These trends are expected to continue into 2017 and beyond. However, it's the trend for healthy living that arguably had the biggest impact on the soft drinks category in 2016 as consumers increasingly looked to reduce their sugar and alcohol consumption.
Paul Graham, managing director at Britvic GB, added: "At Britvic, we recognised the impact of the healthy living trend early on and we've led the industry in recent years when it comes to adapting to meet consumers' needs. We've taken bold steps to help consumers to make choices that are better for them, removing 19 billion calories per year from our portfolio since 2012. We've also worked closely with many of our customers in the channel to help them adapt their soft drinks offering to provide their customers with the healthy choices they expect today. We will continue to keep our commitment to providing consumers with inspiring choices that deliver on taste at the heart of our strategy in the years to come."