Soft drinks brands including Pepsi and Tango are being launched in 250ml cans for the first time in the UK.

PepsiCo and its UK bottler Britvic are about to roll out multipacks of Pepsi, Pepsi Max and Diet Pepsi in the smaller format and will be extending it to include Tango and 7Up next spring.

The 250ml can is being launched in a wide range of pack sizes 10, 12, 15, 18, 24, 30 and 36-can multipacks (rsp: £3.99 to £10.49) aimed at a variety of consumers and retailers. "We wanted to offer a lot of options but in reality you will probably see from one to three of the pack sizes in a store," said Britvic brand controller Noel Clarke.

He added that the new multipacks were in cardboard containers rather than the film wrap currently used and would be easier for shoppers to carry.

Britvic said research had revealed that consumers particularly women wanted smaller cans, and that purchasing decisions were often based on the number of cans in a pack. "Buyers of multipacks tend to be bigger households and the number of units is very ­important to them," added Clarke.

Britvic is retaining the four, six and eight-can multipacks of its 330ml Pepsi, Pepsi Max and Diet Pepsi but will be axing the 12 and 24-pack, which carried an rsp of £7.79 just 40p more than the rsp of the 250ml 24-pack (rsp: £7.39). Britvic pointed out that shoppers would often buy packs at a discount and that, according to Nielsen data, 72% of volume sales of cans were on deal [6 August 2011].

Multipacks of smaller cans had proved successful in other territories, including the US, said Mintel director of innovation and insight David Jago. "The big surprise is that it has taken so long to get here," he added. "I think this is a good idea. It will have a lot of appeal for health-conscious consumers who don't want a full 330ml can, and for mums who want to give a smaller soft drink to their children."

The rollout of the new format is being supported with in-store PoS and promotional activity in retailer magazines and websites.