Britvic plans to introduce new formats for Pepsi as part of its commitment to carbonated drinks, despite recording a slump last year due to a lack of demand for fizzy drinks.

Figures released in the Britvic Soft Drinks Report 2006 confirm the continued growth in still versus carbonates across all sales channels. However cola, as well as pure juice and water, led the grocery category in volume and value last year, according to the report.

"Sales of fruit-flavoured carbonates continued to decline while sales of other carbonates, including cola, remained stable," said sales director Andrew Richards.

The new Pepsi pack formats will include an 18-pack for the picnic and party market and a 6 x 250ml pack aimed at the children's lunchbox market, which will be resealable. The company also plans to look at PET and other packaging innovations in the longer term, Richards said.

Britvic also pointed to squash as a key sector for innovation over the next year or so, and it is looking to introduce more premium squashes and pressés. "Squash is very important for us. The category has almost 100% penetration in the UK," said Richards. "We are seeing opportunities emerging at the premium end and will be considering these along with other possible innovations in the category this year."

The 2006 Soft Drinks Report put the total category up 7% to £8.3bn in value, the industry's highest level of growth in six years. The take-home market grew 8% in value to £5.9bn.

"In take-home we saw a continuation in the growth of stills and better-for-you categories. Looking ahead, there will be continued focus on health and well-being and natural ingredients, particularly as product labelling further refines the way consumers choose their soft drinks," said Richards.