Soft drinks sales increased by 1% to £238m in the food service sector last year, demonstrating the growing importance of soft drinks consumption with food, according to the 2009 Britvic Soft Drinks Report.
Workplace catering saw the biggest sales growth (8% to £62m), while hotels, fast-food outlets and health and welfare establishments held steady.
The report, based on independent data by Nielsen, showed that energy drinks (up 11%) and mixers (up 27%) had the strongest sales growth, while Coca-Cola, Pepsi and R Whites remained the top three brands in the market.
Britvic was the largest UK supplier, with sales of £1.1b and a 46% market share, as J20 overtook Magners to become the top-selling packaged drink in pubs and bars.
Meanwhile, on-premise soft drinks sales (incorporating pubs, bars and clubs) declined by 4% to £2.3b last year, but outperformed sales of alcoholic drinks.
Juice drinks proved to be the most resilient sub-category, holding sales of £245m, while sales of squash, fruit juice and flavoured carbonates declined by just 1%.
Andrew Richards, customer management director at Britvic, said: "The licensed channel had a difficult year but soft drinks continued to be a staple of the market, with sales outperforming those of alcoholic beverages.
"The economy, a disappointing summer, and the continued problem of the smoking ban added up to a perfect storm of challenges and Euro 2008 failed to provide the hoped-for relief."
To view the Britvic Soft Drinks Report, visit www.britvic.com.