Category advice

Soft Drinks icon
Soft Drinks

Market Insight

Category advice2023


The Soft Drinks category within Independents & Symbol stores are worth £1.99bn, which is 20.5% of the total market sales.

The category is growing at +9.6%, adding an additional +£175m from last year.

Ensure you're continually listing the Top SKUs in the market to follow the market growth rates.

Energy & Colas account for 61% of total Soft Drink sales, and combined make up 59% of total Soft Drinks sales.

Functional Energy makes up 76% of total Sports & Energy value and has contributed an incremental £63m to the category vs last year, accounting for 82% of total Sports & Energy value growth. Weight the SKU count in favour of the segments that are driving the higher value.

Drink Now represents 70% of Total Symbols and Indies Soft Drinks value, growing at +12% vs last year.

Ensure your range reflects this share.

The fastest growing segment is Ready to Drink Coffee, up +30.0%, contributing +£9.9m incremental value to the category.

Sports & Energy sees the largest absolute growth up +£77m, followed by water, up +£39m, then Cola, up +£25.5m. 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 2018, 2019, 2020 & Planalytics & Metoffice).

Regular Soft Drinks grow ahead of Sugar Free Soft Drinks, +12.2% vs. +6.9%. This trend continues within Cola with regular Cola outperforming Sugar Free, however in Sports and Energy Sugar Free outperforms Full Sugar, +23.1% vs +14.1%.

Growth in the low sugar alternatives will likely accelerate with the introduction of the HFSS legislation, so ensure you have the right range to cater for this.

NPD's 813649 – Lucozade Sport Zero Raspberry & Passionfruit £1.39 500ml and 813648 – Lucozade Sport Zero Orange & Peach £1.39 500ml

Coke and straw

The proportion of shoppers purchasing on promotion has increased by +3ppts in the 12we 26/06/2022, with shoppers feeling the strain of the rising cost of living.

PMP purchasing has increased for soft drinks by +2ppts, with shoppers seeking out PMPs as a reassurance they are receiving the best possible prices.

(Lumina Intelligence CTP 2022)

NPD is important for sales growth and attracting new shoppers.

NPD has accounted for 26% of Total Single Serve Soft Drinks category growth in the last year. Ensure to have these on your shelves first.

(Nielsen ScanTrack, Total Symbols & Independents w.e. 28.01.23)

Red Bull Summer Edition can


Red Bull


PM £1.45 250ml

Monster can



Aussie Lemonade

PM £1.49 500ml

The proportion of baskets containing soft drinks has grown from 21% to 25%.

Meal deal

The soft drink increase has been driven by more food and drink to go occasions in the latest period. Retailers should place soft drinks on the end of aisles and in till areas to encourage extra spend.

Food to go missions have increased +2ppts and drink to go occasions are up +1ppt, growing as shoppers use convenience stores more for affordable meal, snack and drink solutions on the go.

(Lumina Intelligence CTP 2022)

68% of consumers say that they are concerned about the sugar content in soft drinks.

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

Woman shopping

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.

(Lumina Intelligence CTP 2022)

Information correct at time of print.

Soft Drinks

Must Stock Lines

Category advice2023


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
Must stock linesMust stock lines
Must stock linesMust stock linesMust stock lines

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