Drinks supplier Britvic's 2021 Soft Drinks Review has revealed the role the category has to play in helping outlets recover, following a loss of over 362.1 million litres of soft drinks sales over the past year.
The report shows that 74% of consumers are eating and drinking more healthily than before the pandemic and advises operators to adapt to changing customer demands. Within foodservice, sugar-free soft drinks have grown at +4.5% in value, while full-sugar drinks have lost -3.6%. In turn, the wellness drinks category is worth a huge £240.1m and offers opportunity for further growth.
Sixty per cent of soft drinks consumers state they opt for healthy drinks most of the time, but flavour remains the top attribute in making choices.
Adam Russell, director of foodservice and licensed at Britvic, said: "While the foodservice and hospitality sector has experienced and overcome challenges before, the past year has been like no other. Due to restrictions and the ‘stay at home' rule during the first lockdown, travel and leisure were the most impacted sub-channels, followed by workplaces, education and high streets as workers and students avoided commuting.
"Quick-service restaurants proved to be the most resilient foodservice channel for soft drinks, accounting for 44.4% of total foodservice value sales in 2020, versus 35.5% in 2019. Its buoyancy meant the trusted cola and flavoured carbonates brands thrived over this period as ideal pairings with food. As a result, Pepsi performed well with value (+3.1%) and volume (+3.8%) share increases, and Tango and 7UP grew +3.0% and +2.6% respectively - something we expect to continue."
The Britvic Foodservice Soft Drinks Review is available to download here