Soft drinks delivered total value sales in the foodservice and licensed category of £7.1bn in 2018, according to the Britvic Soft Drinks Review.
The sales were an increase of +3.8% year-on-year, with total licensed soft drinks value sales accounting for £4.4bn (+4.8%), while foodservice delivered £2.7bn (+2.5%).
In the on-trade, growth was driven by managed wet-led, food-led freehold, and leased and tenanted pubs. The foodservice sector experienced a high rate of soft drinks sales in quick service restaurants, while soft drink sales in contract catering outperformed the total foodservice market (+4.2%), driven by health, welfare and education. Overall, strongest soft drinks growth continued to come from the delivery market, food to go, the steady growth of coffee outlets and travel hub venues.
Product categories that drove soft drinks performance growth included cola, which delivered the largest actual value (+8.7% year-on-year), with mixers at +30.2%, delivering the highest value performance.
“Last year was nothing short of extraordinary, with a number of factors impacting the soft drinks category,” says Rachel Phillips, out of home commercial director at Britvic. “We had to contend with extremely cold weather conditions at the beginning of the year, followed by the hottest summer on record for 30 years, which also included the CO2 shortage early June. Against this backdrop, the category delivered a sterling performance and it clearly demonstrates the opportunity that licensed operators and foodservice retailers can unlock.”