Britvic hails sports marketing for sales boost

Pepsi and Fruit Shoot bottler Britvic has credited its marketing around major sporting events such as the World Cup and the Tour de France for boosting drinks sales in Great Britain in the last quarter.

Earlier this year Pepsi unveiled its squad of brand ambassadors as the brand looked to take some of the fizz out of Coca-Cola’s World Cup sponsorship activation.

Revenue in the region increased by 4.6 per cent to £221m in the quarter to 6 July, driven by a 10.4 per cent uplift in carbonates sales.

Britvic chief executive Simon Litherland says the growth was driven by “highly impactful” consumer marketing campaigns, which included the association of Pepsi with football during the World Cup and Fruit Shoot’s sponsorship of the Tour de France.

Pepsi’s revenues in Great Britain grew 9.9 per cent and the brand delivered another quarter of “sold market share gain”.

In January the brand revealed a 19-strong “football super squad” of brand ambassadors – including Brazil’s David Luis, The Netherlands’ Robin van Persie and Germany’s Mario Gomez – as it looked to take the fizz out of rival Coca-Cola’s World Cup sponsorship activation.

Fruit Shoot and Robinsons gained market share in the period, the company says, helped in part by the launch of the new Robinsons Squash’d product. However, Britvic’s overall stills portfolio revenue in Great Britain declined by 3.9 per cent as brands like J2O showed weakness as they were affected by competitor promotional activity.

Overall, Britvic Group revenue rose 4.1 per cent year on year to £329.5m.

The strong third quarter performance has led to Britvic raising its full-year profit forecast, to between £148m and £156m.

Earlier this week rival Coca-Cola reported a dip in both profit and revenue as its World Cup marketing activity and Share a Coke initiative failed to lift sales.