Focus On Soft Drinks

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  • Focus on Soft Drinks 2011

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Soft drinks have had to weather commodity price hikes and trend changes, but are fighting back with relaunches, collaborations and shifts in marketing strategies, says Nick Hughes

It would be easy to dismiss the soft drink category’s 5.6% value growth as purely price-driven.

Easy, but not wholly accurate. Yes, there have been attempts to pass on price rises (not all of which have been warmly received by retailers – witness Britvic’s spat with Sainsbury’s this February over a proposed a 10% hike). And yes, the price rises that have been sanctioned on products like Pepsi and Coca-Cola have positively skewed value figures.

But against the backdrop of a 0.5% decrease in volume sales in 2009, the 1.7% volume growth achieved in 2010 by soft drinks suggests the category is successfully adding value, as well as extra pennies, to a bottle of pop. Strong NPD, clever packaging and range rethinks and a greater focus on key growth areas such as energy drinks are all playing their part.


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