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Soft drinks coming into their own as Brits focus on getting healthy

By Lucy Richardson, Associate Director

Another year, another Soft Drinks Review for Britvic – boy, has that come around quickly! Always a much anticipated event by the drinks trade media, but this year, it felt like there was more anticipation than usual, perhaps due to all the noise in the national media around the sugar tax (or the soft drinks industry levy to give it its official name). So it was that 28 drinks trade journalists made the journey to Hemel Hempstead to hear Britvic GB MD Paul Graham unveil the insights of what happened in the soft drinks category in 2016 and what are the trends affecting its performance. The audience of journalists were then split into groups according their areas of interest –convenience retail or foodservice & licensed – with presentations given to them by the channel experts at Britvic, giving them further insight into what’s happened in these sectors and how operators can unlock further potential from soft drinks by adapting to the trends affecting the market today.

The good news for retailers and operators seems to be that for forward-thinking manufacturers like Britvic, the sugar tax is nothing new – they’ve been actively reducing the sugar content in their drinks for many years, with Britvic having removed a whopping 12 billion calories from the drinks in their portfolio annually since 2012. The result of this is a portfolio of great-tasting drinks that are well placed to meet the needs of today’s consumers. Combine their fantastic portfolio of brands with their expert advice for customers, plus the fact more and more Brits are going teetotal (could it be the new vegetarianism?) and it seems the future for soft drinks is very promising indeed…