Category advice

Soft Drinks icon
Soft Drinks

Market Insight

Category advice2022


The soft drinks category within Independents & Symbol stores are worth £1.77bn, which is 21% of the total market sales.

The category is growing at +7.8%, adding an additional + £128m from last year. Ensure you are continually listing the Top SKUs in the market to follow the market growth rates.

Energy & Colas account for 62% of total Soft Drink sales. Energy is driving growth at +17.4% while Cola’s are flat year-on-year.

Functional Energy accounts for the majority of value (76%) and has contributed the most to total Sports & Energy growth, adding an incremental £79.5m to the category. However Sports Energy is growing faster year-on-year at +26% vs. 19.1% of Functional. Weight the SKU count in favour of the segments that are driving the higher value.

Drink Now represents 68% of Total Symbols and Indies Soft Drinks value, growing at +16% vs. last year.

Ensure your range reflects this share.

The fastest growing segments are Ready to Drink Tea’s (+31.1%), followed by Sports Drinks (+26.0%), and Water (+23.1%).

RTD Tea’s growing off of a very small base, only adding an incremental +£2.3m, whereas Sports Drinks and Water seeing larger absolute growth with an additional £14m each. Functional Energy seeing the largest Absolute growth with +£76.7m. By listing products across all segments will cater to the larger amount of shoppers.

For every degree Celsius increase in temperature, between 18-24 degrees, we see 4x growth in Soft Drink sales.

Make sure extra space is allocated to Soft Drinks in the summer period.

(IRI Data Total Market Soft Drinks 2017, 2018, 2019 & Planalytics & Metoffice)

Sugar Free is growing ahead of Regular within Total Soft Drinks, +8.8% vs. +7.2%.

This trend continues at segment level with sugar free outperforming regular in Cola, Fruit Juice and Sports and Energy.

Growth in the low sugar alternatives will likely accelerate with the introduction of the HFSS legislation coming into action later in the year so ensure you have the right range before this change happens.

Over 1 in 3 Soft Drink purchases are made away from the main product fridge or aisle.

Secondary locations are key. Gondola ends, Till Displays and Free Standing Display Units are the most effective way of encouraging impulse purchases.

Source: Lumina Intelligence CTP 2020

Ensure that you have the relevant Soft Drinks for your shoppers and that they are always available.

Category buyers spend more in store than the average shopper, buys more items, and visits more frequently. Whilst spending an average of £1.62 on Soft Drinks, they will also spend £4.94 on other categories during their visit.

Source Lumina Intelligence CTP 2020

Soft Drinks are the second most desired item in the lunch meal deal after sandwiches.

Offering a meal deal for each meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and by locating all the products next to each other can increase shopper spend.

Source: Lumina Intelligence CTP 2020

NPD is important for sales growth and attracting new shoppers.

NPD has accounted for 25% of Total Single Serve Soft Drinks category growth in the last year.

Source: Nielsen ScanTrack, Total Symbols & Independents w.e. 29.01.22

1 in 5 shoppers will abandon their purchase or shop somewhere else if their desired product is not available in store.

If the product is out of stock, the shopper is x2.5 more likely to go to another store for their whole shop.

Source: HIM! CTOP 2019 / Lumina Intelligence CTP 2020

Ensure to stock a range of regular and reduced sugar products.

68% of consumers say that are concerned about the sugar content in soft drinks. As the HFSS legislation will stop the placement of regular soft drinks in areas of the store that drive impulse purchase, ensure sugar-free alternatives are available as a replacement.

Information correct at time of print.

Soft Drinks

Must Stock Lines

Category advice2022


These are the ‘Must Stock’ lines which shoppers expect to see in a convenience store. By stocking these lines, you will be meeting your customers’ needs and therefore they will visit your store again.

We suggest you stock the following range:

Must stock linesMust stock lines
Must stock lines
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Must stock linesMust stock linesMust stock lines
Soft Drinks


Category advice2022


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