Sales from retailers grew 6.7% to £6.98bn in 2011, driven by price increases. Volume growth, however, decreased to 1%, from 3% in 2010.
Pub, club and restaurant sales declined in value by 0.6% to £2.69bn as growing concerns about the economy and job security put pressure on disposable income.
Cola continued to dominate the take-home market and attracted consumers switching from other sub categories. The category grew 7.6% to £1.5bn in value.
Value sales of market leader Coca-Cola’s brands rose 7% to £1.1bn in value. Pepsi brands marked the biggest growth in the sub sector – up 10% to £329m – and became the second biggest brand portfolio by value in the segment, up from fourth place in 2010.
Murray Harris, Britvic customer management director, says: “In a recession people gravitate towards brands they know and trust and there is a general move from still drinks to carbonates. Soft drinks is expected to still perform and deliver a good year in 2012 as it is still one of the categories that is a permissible treat.”
Elsewhere, the glucose stimulant drinks category marked double-digit growth in the take-home sector and grew in value by 17.1% £792m as consumers opted for a boost in the gloomy climes of 2011.
Cold hot drinks, such as chilled coffee, was the biggest growth category of the year – although from a small base – up 44.5% to £22m, driven by market leader Lipton Ice Tea, which this year ran a major summer sampling campaign.
The Britvic Soft Drinks report is compiled with data supplied by Nielsen and CGA.