Forecourt Trader - 30 years at the heart of the fuel retailing community
Shop » Soft drinks

In full flow

Not a week seems to go by without another soft drink being launched onto the market as manufacturers are keen to cash in on the latest trends.

Sugar's beat

You can't talk about soft drinks at the moment without mentioning the sugar levy, which was announced in March's Budget. In his speech, Chancellor George Osborne announced the new tax as the "right thing for the next generation". He said it would not come into force until 2018 to give companies time to make changes to their ranges and there would be two bands covering drinks with more than 5g of sugar per 100ml and more than 8g sugar per 100ml. It is expected the levy will add 18p per litre and 24p per litre respectively.

Positive energy

It seems that Red Bull really does have wings. Last year, the brand grew at a rate of 5.7%, while the sports and energy category remained flat at 0.4% (IRI data), but even that latter figure was ahead of the total soft drinks category. And growth in the forecourt sector was better. According to IRI, sales of sports and energy drinks were up 2% in forecourts last year and Red Bull's sales through this sector were up 5.8%.

On the go

Two-thirds of on-the-go soft drinks sales occur between March and October so it's a crucial time for the category. And although it's obviously too early to comment on this year's sales, Britvic reports a couple of good years last year its sales of on-the-go drinks were up 14%. And forecourts are doing well too. Indeed IRI total forecourts value data to August 2 (MAT versus last year) has sales of on-the-go drinks up 11.6%.

Drinking up

While sales of tea and instant coffee dropped by 2.2% and 3.5% respectively last year, soft drinks sales through grocery and convenience outlets actually grew by 0.4%. However, if you drill down further, you find that the convenience sector experienced stronger value growth in 2014 (+2.8%) than the grocery multiples (-0.4). That 0.4% overall growth might not sound like much, but when you consider soft drinks is a multi-billion pound category, that 0.4% adds up to quite a sum. In all, according to Britvic Soft Drinks Review, UK consumers spent £11.8bn, on soft drinks last year, £7.6bn of which was through the grocery and convenience sectors.

Power aids

Life less sweet

Sugar is the latest food to be demonised by the health brigade. It's addictive and damages your health, the headlines cry. Typically these stories are accompanied by a picture of a can of Coke and the amount of sugar it contains. Indeed, in a story last month on the Mail Online it said just half a can of Coke exceeds the new daily sugar guidelines. Apparently experts now recommend just three cubes a day and a 330ml can of 'red' Coke contains seven.

Thirst rate

Last year, for the first time in what seemed like years, we actually had a hot summer, which helped boost soft drinks sales no end.

Go energy, go

Energy is a category with a ballsy edge: you only have to look at some of the macho brand names Relentless, Red Bull, Extreme, Monster and their packaging to see that they appeal, in particular, to young men; therefore a perfect product for forecourts.

Thirst aid

What a summer the warmest, driest and sunniest since 2006. According to figures from the Met Office, from June 1 to August 28, we basked in 588 hours of sunshine making it the seventh sunniest summer since records began in 1929. Such sunshine is, of course, good news for the soft drinks' manufacturers and retailers.

Liquid gold

Britons guzzled their way through an astonishing 6.97bn litres of soft drinks last year. According to Britvic's Soft Drinks Review 2013, all that liquid equated to £7.21bn-worth of sales through grocery and impulse outlets. Impulse outlets accounted for nearly 25% of value sales (£1.78bn), up 1.6% on 2011, with 'glucose stimulant drinks' or energy drinks accounting for nearly 26% of value sales versus cola's 24%. But in volume terms, cola sales amounted to 303m litres versus energy drinks' 175m litres.

Energise sales

The UK's thirst for sports and energy drinks is seemingly unquenchable. According to Mintel, the market saw a rise in volume sales of more than 60% between 2007-12, reaching 578 million litres. And value wise, it was estimated at £1.2bn in 2012, which equates to a 64% increase between 2007-12. This is around 8% year-on-year, which Mintel puts down to consumers switching away from the more expensive on-trade channel to the less expensive at-home environment.

Focus on Soft Drinks: Big brand support

Coca-Cola and Red Bull are usually found at the top of most forecourt stores' soft drinks sales lists. Coca-Cola has been around for years and has stayed one step ahead of its competition through big marketing campaigns such as 'Holidays are coming' and massive sponsorships such as that of the recent London 2012 Olympics. There have been brand extensions such as Diet Coke and Coke Zero and various flavours but it is the original Coca-Cola that remains king.

Focus on Soft Drinks: Big softies

You don't want to take your eye off the soft drinks market. There's always something new to stock; the category's in growth; plus soft drinks represent more than 10% of sales in your typical forecourt convenience store (IGD).

Powering ahead

In forecourts, the sports and energy drink category is outperforming total soft drinks growing at 3.4% versus 2% meaning the category is worth £80.9m in forecourts alone. And as that data is from Synovate for just oil company-managed forecourts, it's probably far greater than that.

My Account

You are not logged in.
  • Weekly
    Retail
  • Weekly
    wholesale
  • Daily
    Average
Weekly retail fuel prices: 13 November 2017
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East122.9762.90129.22120.30
East Midlands122.51131.19120.13
London123.0159.23131.32120.49
North East122.2163.40130.26120.15
North West122.3953.80130.05119.91
Northern Ireland121.09125.70118.82
Scotland122.68128.95119.79
South East123.2069.90130.92120.88
South West122.77128.85120.30
Wales122.4253.90128.26119.82
West Midlands122.0958.90130.41119.94
Yorkshire & Humber122.3453.70132.45119.99

Most read

As many forecourt operators continue their quest for expansion - driving up forecourt prices - could you be tempted to sell your business?