Suntory Beverage & Food GB&I (SBF GB&I) has launched its category vision for 2021, showing that retailers who take advantage of key trends and cater for key purchasing occasions can grab their share of more than £1BN over the next five years.

This means a potential £8,992[i] in soft drink sales could be unlocked by the UK’s 46,388[ii] convenience, symbol, and independent stores.

SBF GB&I’s new category vision breaks down the soft drink category into four simple consumer need states. Each of these is based on insights and trends that highlight the headroom for growth and relies on three simple focuses. To increase relevance and expand consumption occasions requires the right pack, in the right place, for the right occasion.

“The trends we’ve seen develop during the Covid-19 crisis, such as increased in-home consumption, are set to continue. We also know that in recessionary times, people buy smaller packs more frequently. It is crucial that retailers understand these trends and make room for products that cater for these changing habits to continue to see category growth,” says Alpesh Mistry, Sales Director at SBF GB&I.

“The soft drink category needs to cater for these changes. We know one-in-four[iii] shoppers are consuming more soft drinks, and that £143M[iv] has been added to the category through increased multipack sales during lockdown.”

SBF GB&I have reacted quickly to help retailers cater for these new trends in different ways. These included the launch of new Ribena Sparkling, which is available in 500ml and two take-home formats – 2L and 6x330ml multipack cans, by reducing the on-pack price of Ribena 600ml and Lucozade Energy 1L format drinks to £1.50, and by introducing 12x multipack cans of Lucozade Energy Orange and Original.

“To create a category vision that can deliver a real impact for retailers, we have taken into account bigger macro trends to allow us to have shopper and category-led conversations with our customers. This will drive long-term strategic partnerships, accelerating growth for all.”

The four consumer need states are:

ENJOYABLE REFRESHMENT

Retailers can inspire shoppers to consider a drink with or without food at key moments throughout the day by activating ‘meal for tonight’ options and flagging cross-category links. Disrupting and exciting shoppers with PoS materials and reminding shoppers to visit the chiller is key to unlocking an extra £340M[v] of growth of this category – equivalent to £2,529[vi] for each of the UK’s 46,388 convenience, symbol and independent stores over the next five years.

Category signifiers

  • 20%[vii] of all soft drinks are bought to deliver against refreshment and hydration needs
  • 55%[viii] of bottled water drinkers now carry and drink from a refillable water bottle

UPLIFT & ENERGISE

Retailers can bring in new shoppers by increasing the visibility and presence of ‘better for you’ energy options, and championing sugar-free, natural and emerging segments through merchandising and in-store activation. A destination aisle to cater for those with sporting and active lifestyles in one was of helping to unlock an extra £244M[ix] of growth in this category – equivalent to £1,815[x] for every store.

Category signifiers

  • 54%[xi] of people exercise to improve their health
  • 75%[xii] of people are concerned about their levels of tiredness and stress

SPECIAL MOMENTS

The biggest potential category win for retailers comes from encouraging shoppers to choose a favourite soft drink when they are taking a moment in their day to enjoy a little treat, or by enhancing mealtime occasions. Retailers can help deliver £343M[xiii] of category growth – £2,551[xiv] per store – by better catering for drinks to accompany ‘meals for tonight’ and delivering drink options to lift the mood of consumers.

Category signifiers

  • 9%[xv] of people buy soft drinks to accompany their evening meals
  • 33%[xvi] of 18-24-year-olds describe themselves as non-drinkers
  • 55%[xvii] of people are expecting to enjoy more friends-and-family celebrations in the future

POSITIVE CHOICES

By supporting shoppers’ wellbeing by helping them to find more balanced and natural drink choices, with a positive force on society, retailers can help unlock an extra £235M[xviii] in category sales – equivalent to £1,748[xix] per convenience store, per year. Educating shoppers and targeting the right formats and flavours to unlock new drinks occasions to tap into these trends are crucial.

Category signifiers

  • There was a 43%[xx] rise in sales of ethical food and drink between 2013 and 2018
  • 47%[xxi] of people say they have cut back on their alcohol intake for health reasons

“We’re proud of the work we’ve put in to support the retail channel through a strange, challenging, difficult and ever-changing year. Through our sales team and our ongoing communications, we are really looking forward to continuing to work with our retail partners at every step to help us unlock this huge potential growth together,” says Alpesh Mistry.

[i] IRI data, 2020: Symbols & Indies account for 15% of the market; Convenience accounts for 19.5% of the market

[ii] ACS Local Shop Report 2020

[iii] Dunnhumby data, w/e 18.10

[iv] Dunnhumby data, w/e 18.10

[v] SBF GB&I Category research, 2020

[vi] IRI data, 2020: Symbols & Indies account for 15% of the market; Convenience accounts for 19.5% of the market

[vii] Catcom and Suntory GBI Category Strategy Research 2020

[viii] Catcom and Suntory GBI Category Strategy Research 202

[ix] SBF GB&I Category research, 2020

[x] IRI data, 2020: Symbols & Indies account for 15% of the market; Convenience accounts for 19.5% of the market

[xi] Catcom and Suntory GBI Category Strategy Research 2020

[xii] Catcom and Suntory GBI Category Strategy Research 2020

[xiii] SBF GB&I Category research, 2020

[xiv] IRI data, 2020: Symbols & Indies account for 15% of the market; Convenience accounts for 19.5% of the market

[xv] Catcom and Suntory GBI Category Strategy Research 2020

[xvi] Catcom and Suntory GBI Category Strategy Research 2020

[xvii] Catcom and Suntory GBI Category Strategy Research 2020

[xviii] SBF GB&I Category research, 2020

[xix] IRI data, 2020: Symbols & Indies account for 15% of the market; Convenience accounts for 19.5% of the market

[xx] Catcom and Suntory GBI Category Strategy Research 2020

[xxi] Catcom and Suntory GBI Category Strategy Research 2020

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