Soft drinks are showing a healthy growth according to the recent Britvic Soft Drinks Review, soft drinks generated value sales on premise of more than £4.2b, and volumes increasing by +0.5%.
The area of strongest growth for soft drinks consumption was in food-led outlets, where eating and drinking out expenditure per capita showed the largest increase.
The report talks of the "weekend millionaire" phenomena, with more consumers choosing to live frugally during the week, but spend on indulgent experiences at the weekend. Although the overall frequency of eating and drinking out declined, spend per meal occasion rose with key audiences, particularly among the 18-24 year olds and 65-69 year olds, creating additional opportunities for soft drinks consumption.
Managed pubs were particularly successful at holding steady in the face of changing consumer spending, largely thanks to the encouragement of promoting all-day-dining and value for money offers. In addition, the subsequent growth of soft drinks in restaurants showed the power of the "family pound".
Health and wellbeing continued to be a core purchase driver with consumers, with low or no calorie variants continuing to gather ground. This was reflected in the increased popularity of water on premise, which jumped in value by +26.8% to become the fifth most purchased soft drink, with sales of £296m.
"2014 was the year when the on-premise ‘held steady' and showed its true resilience in the face of shifting consumer purchasing patterns and wider environmental challenges," said Paul Graham, GB managing director at Britvic.
"Shaped by multiple consumer trends, such as pleasure seeking, the increasing focus on the wider health agenda, marketing and legislation, and the demand for added value out of every experience, the soft drinks manufacturers who have been the most successful have been the ones who have invested in innovation, as well as reformatting to provide low or no-calorie variants. Although these are challenging and changing times, there are significant growth opportunities for soft drinks in the on premise in 2015 and beyond."