Health means wealth for soft drinks

We calculate that convenience retailers can unlock a £52m annual uplift in sales – that’s more than £1,000 per store – by 2025 if they can tap soaring demand for healthier soft drinks.[1]

Reading time: 7 minutes

Many people now value health claims more highly than anything else when deciding what to eat and drink. For 45% of people, added health benefits are now the most important quality in food and drink, overtaking natural ingredients and even low prices. People are prepared to pay more for healthier products.

This presents huge opportunities. Retailers with effectively promoted and merchandised ranges of healthier soft drinks stand to add £1,086 to their annual sales by 2025, we calculate. That adds up to an extra £52m a year for UK convenience.

Read our five top tips on how you can cash in below:

Change the way you think about health

The first thing to recognise is that ideas of health are changing. 

More than half of people (58%) say they want to see healthier soft drinks in retailers’ ranges and 65% of people who regularly drink carbonated soft drinks say added health benefits would make them want to buy them more often.

This has led to the growth in soft drinks containing natural ingredients that do more than just taste great. For example, the Purdey’s Natural Energy range includes drinks containing minerals, B Vitamins, ginseng and guarana to help people rejuvenate, refocus and re-energise.

Up your game in meal deals

It’s time c-stores upped their meal deal game too. Tesco and Sainsbury’s have recently launched premium £5 meal deals with drinks such as Purdey’s and Aqua Libra to lure affluent, health-conscious consumers away from foodservice outlets at lunchtime. There’s plenty of scope for convenience to do the same.

Aqua Libra is the perfect accompaniment to a healthy lunch of salad or sushi. The range of unsweetened, zero-calorie, infused sparkling waters is flavoured with only natural ingredients and includes Raspberry & Blackberry, Cucumber, Mint & Lime and Blood Orange & Mango flavours.

Add premium soft drinks to evening meal deals

People are tightening their belts when it comes to their evening meals and are going out to eat less in response to the cost-of-living crisis. But that doesn’t mean they don’t want a treat. 

Growing numbers of people are looking to recreate restaurant experiences at home. And, with one in three adults now only rarely or never drinking alcohol, there’s an opportunity for retailers to raise average spend and elevate shoppers’ value perceptions by adding healthier and premium soft drinks in larger formats into their ‘meal for tonight’ deals.

Pair healthy drinks with healthy snacks

The opportunity isn’t only at lunch or dinner time. Research shows that health is generally a priority more often earlier in the day and earlier in the week, so pairing healthier drinks with breakfast items and mid-morning snacks could also be a winner.

Purdey’s is also perfectly poised as a pick-me-up for pre- and post-work gym goers. Alternatively, Aqua Libra can serve as a naturally refreshing, sugar-free livener with a healthy snack in the afternoon.

For more guidance on how to maximise your soft drinks sales this Christmas and beyond, read the 2023 Britvic Soft Drinks Review here.

[1]All statistics cited in this article are from the 2023 Britvic Soft Drinks Review, unless otherwise stated.