Soft drinks are a staple for the convenience sector – for transient stores whose bread and butter involves serving those who are on the move in petrol forecourts and train stations, for stores in open spaces that serve sunbathers (if we’re lucky!) and dog walkers and for those that provide for the workers from offices, shops and factories. We looked at how the category performed in 2020.

April 26, 2021
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Category Analysis - Soft Drinks

Soft drinks are a staple for the convenience sector – for transient stores whose bread and butter involves serving those who are on the move in petrol forecourts and train stations, for stores in open spaces that serve sunbathers (if we’re lucky!) and dog walkers and for those that provide for the workers from offices, shops and factories. We looked at how the category performed in 2020 for soft drinks that were sold in at least 100 stores (which represents 96% of total sales). Our chart below shows monthly sales for the category with the anticipated curves which shows a growth during the Spring and Summer months before dropping back in Autumn and Winter.

However, when we look at soft drinks sales as a percentage of total sales, we see the share of soft drinks drop as the UK enters the first lockdown in March.  This is in contrast to the increase seen in total sales.  Market share of soft drinks begins to recover in April and then follows the expected curve.

Single Serve, (which we define as anything up 750ml) dominate in terms of category share, but something interesting happens in March 2020.  Share of single serve formats decreases and larger pack formats gain share.  As this coincides with the first lockdown, we can speculate that the level of transient/daily custom reduces and people start to buy larger bottles or multipacks to stock up at home.

Looking at the biggest selling product types within each format, we see that Energy drinks make up the biggest selling segment within Single Serve formats, with standard cola being the biggest selling in larger formats.

Now the lockdown has ended, retailers can dedicate more space to single-serve units once more, knowing that in most cases the transient nature of our everyday lives will return, just in time to catch the warmer weather.

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