Orange fruit juice breakfast

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Shoppers have grabbed 26 million more litres of juice off grocery shelves

The juices are flowing once again. After a miserable 2020, when The Grocer reported a £50.2m decline for the category, value is now £1.7m in the black. It comes after shoppers grabbed 26 million more litres off grocery shelves. The key driver has, of course, been a resurgence for on-the-go and impulse occasions after pandemic restrictions ended.

“Juices and smoothies sales have returned to pre-Covid levels and are showing growth again after a difficult time during lockdown,” notes NielsenIQ senior analytics executive Josh Tombs. “As demand returned, on-the-go products and sales of single-serve drinks bounced back.”

Among those bouncing back the most is market leader Innocent. It’s added £9m – the second-largest absolute gain in the top 20. “A steady return” of impulse occasions had led to “an encouraging” performance in 2021, the brand’s CEO Douglas Lamont told The Grocer in September.

That’s also the case for Rubicon. It’s grown value by 5.2% on volumes up by 6%, after it saw on-the-go recovering “at pace” according to Adrian Troy, marketing director at owner AG Barr. “The 2020 soft drink market was characterised by the migration of out-of-home consumer demand into the home environment,” he adds. “The position has been reversing since spring 2021, as the hospitality sector and on-the-go channels began to recover.”


This has also buoyed Oasis and Capri-Sun in part, says Martin Attock, CCEP GB vice-president for commercial development – though the brands, up by £15.3m in total, have also seen larger packs continue to drive growth, too. And sales of at-home formats show no sign of slowing down, Attock adds. CCEP expects demand for Oasis multipacks, for instance, to continue after the supplier’s “upweighting focus” during lockdowns.

“We’re confident that lifestyle changes we’ve seen since the start of the coronavirus pandemic have been far-reaching enough for new habits to stick,” Attock says. “And therefore expect to see sustained demand for our future consumption multipacks, alongside the enduring popularity of our on-the-go range.”

Not every brand has been so lucky. “Within pure juices, the multiserve formats that proved so popular with increased at-home occasions have struggled to keep the same level of momentum this year,” notes Tombs. Take Tropicana, Naked and Copella, which have collectively dropped £4.8m.

“Pure juice is being squeezed and growth is falling behind overall soft drinks as products with health and functional claims rise in popularity,” he adds, pointing to the likes of Vita Coco and Ocean Spray as examples of brands having “done particularly well this year”.

Top Launch 2021

Prebiotic Shot | Moju

Moju prebiotic shots 60ml

Promising to “level up your gut game”, the fast-growing Moju says its Prebiotic Shot is scientifically proven to reach the lower gut, where it can ‘feed’ the good bacteria. The drink features green banana, golden kiwi, baobab and ginger root, with no added sugar or sweetener. It rolled out in March in Raspberry, Lemon & Baobab (rsp: £1.95/6oml) alongside a 500ml format (rsp: £6.99). Both packs are 100% recyclable and made of 50% post-consumer recycled material.

The Grocer’s Top Products Survey 2021: who’s up, who’s down – and our overview of the key trends