Britvic will look to the launch of PepsiCo sports brand Gatorade to boost sales as CEO Paul Moody acknowledged consumers were switching from carbonates to energy drinks.
The company's fizzy drinks portfolio in Britain, including Pepsi, which it makes under licence, grew sales just 0.4% to £185.4m for the half year to 13 April, with Moody saying Britvic refused to match increased promotional activity in take-home in the first quarter. "We chose to focus on value rather than volumes," he told The Grocer.
Fruit carbonates had been particularly disappointing, he added, with lemonade now treated as "pretty much a commodity", although squashes and cordials held up well, as still drinks rose 2.8% to £161.8m.
Overall, pre-tax profit rose 13.2% to £17.2m on sales up 28.6% to £454.7m. The performance was in part powered by the acquisition of its Irish drinks business from Magners owner C&C last August.
With no NPD planned, Britvic's main growth area for the year ahead would be glucose-based and energy drinks, said Moody, conceding that the company needed a response to the growth of Red Bull and Lucozade, although he also picked out its own Drench and recent PepsiCo acquisition V Water for their potential.