Britvic's latest soft drink report released

Britvic’s recent report highlights how the eating out market turned over £97.3bn in 2023

As the foodservice market bounces back, there are visible changes in both consumers’ reasons for visiting outlets and the type of places they’re visiting.

According to Britvic’s Soft Drinks Review 2024, these shifts in consumer behaviour, combined with the changing commercial climate, present significant opportunities for the sector.  

Britvic says that foodservice operators can unlock new growth and stand out from the crowd by harnessing the power of soft drinks, a resilient category that plays a crucial role in driving footfall and sales.

Reported results

The Britvic report found that more people are on the move again, fewer people are going out specifically for a treat and more people are choosing venues based on proximity and menu choice.

Fast food restaurants are naturally reaping the rewards from consumers continuing to trade down, whereas casual dining and pubs are feeling the pinch more than other sectors.

Despite these challenges, Britvic maintains that foodservice operators can take advantage of these new consumer trends which are fuelling demand for more sophisticated soft drinks. Overall sales of food and drink through foodservice grew by 6% year-on-year in 2023, but volumes fell by 3.8%. 

Soft drinks, on the other hand, continue to reign supreme within foodservice, with sales growing by 4.0% to hit £3.02bn last year and volumes growing by 0.8%.

Britvic’s Soft Drinks Review 2024 indicates that part of the reason for the category’s success is down to consumers not being prepared to compromise on quality, despite more than three quarters (76.3%) of people identifying as being value-led. In fact 73% are happy to splash out more for high quality drinks, illustrating the scale of opportunity for foodservice operators to trade choices up to more premium drinks.

Britvic's top tips for operators

At a time when the soft drinks category continues to prove itself as highly versatile and relevant to changing consumer needs, the value it can bring to the sector shouldn’t be underestimated.

  • Make sure your menus stand out from the crowd, with premium mixers and specialised drinks like health shots and hand-spun shakes. 
  • Opt for food and soft drink pairings that go beyond the classic burger and soft drink combo. 
  • Workplace operators can tap into the “water plus” opportunity, (flavoured, infused and functional water products) which is worth £16.6m and growing at 19.5% year-on-year.
  • Invest in delivery apps, as only 26.7% of orders through delivery aggregators include a soft drink, suggesting operators are missing a trick to maximise order value.

Click here to read the full Britvic Foodservice Soft Drinks Review.

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