Adult cordials

Absolute value sales this year for adult squash were £3.7m

A raft of NPD with sophisticated flavours has this year driven a huge surge in adult-orientated squash.

With take-home value sales up 61.3% on volumes up 69.4% [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 9 September 2018], cordial is now the fastest growing sector of the adult soft drinks category­.

Fancy variants have played a key role in the growth in adult squash, according to Pev Manners, MD of Belvoir Fruit Farms. “Elderflower is still our leading cordial, but we have also seen large growth from other flavours, no-tably Ginger, Blueberry & Blackcurrant, and Raspberry & Lemon.”

The appeal of “natural, true tastes” meant older shoppers were “prepared to pay a premium for quality” said Mark Edge, head of soft drinks at Bottlegreen. “They are trading up in the quest for real ingredients and flavour.”

The main beneficiary of the boom is arguably squash giant Robinsons. In November 2017, the Britvic brand (which is not included in Kantar’s adult squash data) launched its first adult-focused ranges, Fruit Creations and Fruit Cordials, with variants including Pear, Blackcurrant & Cherry; Crushed Mint & Lime; and Rhubarb, Raspberry & Orange Blossom.

The premium Fruit Cordials lineup alone had “already grown to become a £6.2m brand by attracting a new adult customer base” said Phil Sanders, Britvic GB commercial director for at home. “As a result, it is driving growth in the premium cordials market.”

Squash may have been the biggest riser across adult soft drinks in percentage terms, but at £3.7m the sector pales in comparison to category leader tonic, up 22.5% to £169m - driven by Brits’ demand for premium mixers in the face of the gin and cocktail crazes.