?Consumer demand for flavoured carbonates is dropping and we are encouraging retailers to review their range and fixture space. Most retailers who over-index on flavoured carbonates to the detriment of fast-growing and more profitable segments such as energy and water are missing a sales opportunity.

Colin Seymour category planning director, GSK

? Sales of our carbonates are exceeding expectations. We constantly extend our range to appeal to a large cross-section of customers, from traditional favourites such as cream soda to premium ranges such as The Best lemonade. Customer demand for new flavours and healthier drinks has driven us to introduce new products. The Best fruit crushes are free from artificial colours, flavours and sweeteners and contain real fruit juice. Mathew Cain soft drinks buyer, Morrisons

?With the focus on healthier living, the key drivers in the soft drinks market are a) the demand for healthier drink alternatives, especially options containing superfoods and b) growth in the premium sector. Packaging and look are really important and consumers are increasingly looking for health benefits as well as refreshment.

Alex Hannon MD, Mangajo Drinks

?The adult soft drink market has seen large investment over the past couple of years.Consumers are experimenting and demanding more. The growth of home entertaining and cookery shows is encouraging consumers to be more experimental. It is not enough to offer colas and lemonades and consumers don't always want an alcoholic option.

Simon Speers MD, Bottlegreen Drinks Co

?The soft drinks category is in many respects a microcosm of the grocery market. Big brands dominate, while promotional investment and the development of niche sub-brands are key drivers of growth. The obvious common feature is the demand for healthier options, which will remain critical to innovation and further growth.

Kevin Hawkins director general,

British Retail Consortium

?I think soft drinks brands are starting to put more natural, herbal ingredients in to improve their health and energy credentials. Consumers are also taking notice more than ever before. They read what's on the back of the packet and most of the time it's pretty horrifying - you thought you were drinking a fruit juice and it's full of additives and preservatives.

Shelley Green co-founder

Green & Kerley

? Consumers are making more informed and considered choices and this has contributed to the growth of categories such as pure juice, water and functional. We expect there to be a continuation of these trends this year and subsequently, with innovation the driving force behind the ongoing success of the category.

Jamie Walker category director, impulse, Tesco, from Britvic's Soft Drinks Report 2007.

?There is a lot of concern about carbonates but the size of the market is still one of the largest categories in soft drinks. There is still value to be had and manufacturers should look to create excitement in soft drinks aisles.

Claire Nield brand manager


?We see a lot of news about smoothies and their health properties, but they are 3% of the soft drinks market.

David Patmore marketing director, Princes

? Last year, more than 1.3 billion litres of bottled water were drunk in the UK, with UK shoppers spending almost £75,000 an hour on bottled water. Despite this strong growth, the per capita consumption of bottled water in the UK still lags significantly behind other countries (approximately half of the per capita consumption of bottled water in the US), so there is still a massive opportunity.

Steve Flanagan category strategy manager, Danone Waters

?In our debit/credit society, each healthy drink deserves a reward and our busy multi-tasking days need punctuating with indulgence. Sensory innovation will play a more significant role in delivering the ultimate experience through what we drink. Packaging and ingredients for new drinks may deliver sounds, aromas, textures and sensations that stop the world for a moment and also deliver total satisfaction.

Jake McCall founder and president,

Second Sight Innovation

?Soft drinks are an important part of our business. The past few years have shown that there has been significant changes to the way our customers shop for soft drinks - driven by the additional awareness of health and obesity, the introduction of nutrition labelling and the growing concern for the environment.

Jamie Walker category director, impulse, Tesco, from Britvic's Soft Drinks Report 2007