We closely monitor consumer and market trends impacting the soft drinks category. Some trends are fleeting yet others will shape the future. From making sustainable choices through to aspirational experiences, we delve into these trends to understand how Britvic can lead the way in responding to emerging consumer demands.
As awareness and urgency around the climate challenge grow, and the impact of pollution, waste and resource overuse is seen around the world, people are increasingly interested in how companies behave, what sustainable choices they offer, and what they are doing more broadly to tackle the big issues. Businesses like ours are increasingly focused on creating a more circular economy for resources, in the face of this mounting pressure from consumers and increased regulatory action.
How we’re responding:
- Our cost of borrowing is linked to our sustainability targets.
- We’re the first UK soft drinks company to have an approved 1.5°C target for measures to slow down climate change.
- We intend to make all our plastic bottles in Great Britain from 100% rPET by the end of 2022.
Aqua Libra Co is an example of how we are encouraging consumers towards healthy hydration, while also reusing their own water bottles. The state-of-the-art smart touch taps offer boiling, chilled and sparkling water. Utilising Britvic’s flavour expertise, the service will expand to include tasty, sugar-free flavours. Aqua Libra Co is available at a wide range of commercial customers and we are looking to expand the range into more consumer settings. We believe Aqua Libra Co has a pivotal role to play in Britvic’s sustainability journey.
The most significant and persistent global megatrends affecting beverages continue to be the desire to live a healthier lifestyle and the shift towards more natural ingredients and added vitamins and minerals. Removing perceived unhealthy ingredients, especially sugar, is clearly important for consumers – while the agenda is increasingly moving towards the addition of health benefits.
For our consumers, we want to ensure that our products help all people enjoy life’s everyday moments, as part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Leading the industry in low and no calorie drinks, we offer consumers real choice through a portfolio led by great tasting drinks that are better for them. Our acquisition of Plenish, which offers plant-based milks, cold-pressed juices and functional shots, enables us to serve a growing global audience looking for plant-based alternatives too.
How we’re responding:
- 75% of all volume sold globally (as consumed) were low and no calorie drinks, and in Great Britain and Ireland, 97% of innovation activity in 2020 was in low and no calorie drinks.
- Innovating to provide drinks such as Purdey’s, fortified with natural vitamins and minerals, Robinsons Superfruit Cordials and MiWadi’s 0% Sugar range, which is now fortified with vitamin D.
- Plenish was developed from an ethos of plant-based, healthy nutrition. Its product range is focused on healthy ingredients and low calories, including five-a-day fruit and vegetables in juices and using only natural ingredients. Plenish is certified organic by the Soil Association.
Consumers are looking for higher quality, better ingredients with authentic provenance, which is driving increasing demand for premium products. The trend is being fuelled by an ageing population combined with rising global wealth and disposable income, prompting consumer demand for sophisticated propositions and new, tailored experiences. Adult soft drinks are a growing opportunity for manufacturers, representing a premium, attractive alternative for everyday consumption and on special occasions. This is coupled with a movement towards lower alcohol, alcohol-free and premium soft drinks.
How we're responding:
- Britvic is well placed to capitalise on the premiumisation trend, having invested significantly in premium innovations and brand extensions such as: Robinsons Fruit Cordials, Purdey’s, London Essence and our Mathieu Teisseire bartender range.
- Mathieu Teisseire is one of the most prized syrups in the world. In 2021, the international quality institute Monde Selection, recognised this with four Gold awards for superior quality and exceptional flavour.
- Our super-premium and naturally light London Essence tonics and sodas are now listed in over 30 markets and served in eight out of the top ten bars in the world.
The traditional retail landscape continues to change. Consumers live busier lives and once-rigid routines are becoming more flexible. At the same time, choices available to people continue to multiply. They expect to find the right product, in the right place, at the right time. This naturally lends itself to e-commerce, which is already an area of major focus for Britvic, and we have now reallocated even greater resources across our business units to further accelerate our progress. We’ve continued to build our presence online, both through the established home delivery routes of the major grocers and through wholesaler platforms. Our portfolio of brands means that we can deliver the range of products to meet retailer needs and satisfy the full range of consumer occasions.
In 2021 we acquired plant-based drinks company Plenish which started out as a direct to consumer proposition. As a native player in the direct to consumer and digital marketing space, Plenish provides Britvic with an opportunity to learn best practice and apply this across our other products.