Carbonated drinks are still firm favourites with consumers, with only 7% of panellists not buying them. Cola is the most popular choice at 72%.

Lemonade comes in second at 57%, third being flavoured sparkling water at 38%. Coca-Cola is the most popular brand, with Fanta showing more popularity with pre-nesters; 50% of consumers also purchase own-label.

About six out of 10 consider brand as a priority, with price and flavour also key. As expected, price is most important with family panellists while size is more important for pre-nesters. Sugar content is only considered by 46% of consumers.

When asked to identify what makes a healthy drink, consumers recognise this to be something that is low in sugar and flavoured with natural fruit juices with no artificial colours or preservatives.

This was reflected when we asked our family panel members to tell us what they considered when purchasing carbonated drinks for their children. We discovered 73% think about the sugar, 68% look for drinks with no artificial colours or flavours and 58% consider drinks with natural fruit juices.

While 18% of the panel are, surprisingly, unaware of what their children can have in their lunchboxes, water, fruit juice and squash are the acceptable choices.

While 20% of consumers buy more sparkling water, just as many are buying less, especially when talking to pre-family and family members.

Squash is seen as a refreshing thirst-quenching option that is better than fizzy drinks and is only seen as old-fashioned by 36% of the panel.

Just under a third of panel members consume energy drinks, with Lucozade the most popular choice followed by Red Bull.

In summary, while consumers are aware of the recent negative press surrounding fizzy/carbonated drinks, they are still a firm favourite and are still consumed regularly, although there is an indication that purchasing/consumption frequency is decreasing. Consumers are also brand-loyal.n