Soft drinks were a winner last Christmas with growth of 10.3% and sales reaching £1.1bn, which was up nearly £100m (Nielsen).

Sales of Coca-Cola reached £185m last Christmas a staggering figure when you consider that mince pies and turkeys only accounted for £52m-worth of sales apiece.

As ever, Coke will be supported by advertising in the lead up to Christmas.

According to Kantar Worldpanel data, some 1.5m shoppers prefer to only buy Schweppes at Christmas. Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) is urging retailers to boost their rate of sale this Christmas by maximising their Schweppes displays and merchandising them with complementary categories such as spirits. There will be special limited-edition themed packaging across a range of Schweppes products to help on-shelf standout, as well as festive point-of-sale material.

Dave Turner, trade communications manager at CCE, said: "Retailers should consider secondary siting when merchandising their stores in the lead-up to Christmas. For example, stocking Schweppes mixers alongside core spirit brands to encourage link purchases and stocking Coca-Cola next to other products such as confectionery sharing tins and premium snacks purchased around Christmas party time."

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