Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better in soft drinks - especially as brands chase growth in the convenience and on-the-go markets.

Pepsi’s 2011 launch of 250ml mini can multipacks (rsp:£3.99 to £10.49) for its cola range helped the brand secure a strong position in the nation’s lunchboxes by providing a convenient alternative to bulkier 330ml and 500ml formats.

Last March, Britvic did the same with Tango and 7Up and it’s now completing a Tesco trial of J20 fridge packs of six 250ml cans (down from the standard format 275ml). “Consumers generally purchase multipacks based on the number of cans inside, so the more cans, the better value they seem,” says Paul Graham, customer management director at Britvic.

The competition hasn’t stood idly by. Also last March, Coke launched 375ml pocket pack bottles (rsp:89p), for those who find 500ml (rsp:£1.08) too much or 330ml (rsp:59p) too small. The attraction is clear: pocket packs are 13.6% larger than 330ml cans, but cost 50.8% more.

In January, CCE began replacing 2-litre bottles in c-stores with 1.75-litre bottles to differentiate its offer between channels, and in February it rolled out 250ml cans of Relentless (rsp:79p) as an alternative to 500ml cans (rsp:£1.32).

It’s not just the big guns tweaking pack sizes. “We’re focusing on different formats for 2013,” says Joanna Watling, marketing director at Princes, owner of squash and juice brand Jucee. “We historically supplied a 2-litre pack to the convenience sector, but will launch a new 1.5-litre pack from May.”

Meanwhile, Belvoir Fruit Farms will make its first foray into smaller formats next month with 250ml cans of elderflower pressé and raspberry lemonade.

Other suppliers will no doubt follow suit given the dual benefits. “They help consumers manage calorie intake,” says AG Barr head of marketing Adrian Troy. “They also help manage an offer to a particular price point.” Which all points to a big future for smaller formats.