Silver Spring prepares to roll-out transformed soft drinks range


By Rod Addy


- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Soft drinks, Polyethylene terephthalate, Water

Silver Spring prepares to roll-out transformed soft drinks range

Silver Spring is poised to reinvigorate the flavoured water market after a phoenix-like rise from the ashes of administration, according to md Neill Cotton.

The UK beverage maker based in Folkestone, Kent and supplied by local spring water fell into administration in September last year, but was rescued by private equity group Privet Capital, which purchased it in the same month.

After Cotton's appointment as md of the newly named Silver Spring Soft Drinks shortly afterwards, he implemented a personnel overhaul that led to replacing most of the board and HR functions.

The company stripped 20% out of its cost base and resigned £9M worth of its turnover "the loss-making part of the business",​ according to Cotton.

He is now preparing for this summer's relaunch of Silver Spring's flagship Perfectly Clear brand, which Cotton says has been repackaged to promote its natural flavours, sugar-free and English character. He added: "There are real opportunities to wake this category back up. We are at a stage of working out how we re-engage with the consumer. With the turnaround done, we have woken up in time for the summer and are ready to compete hard and play hard."

The new-look Perfectly Clear is already on sale in some supermarkets in Heavenly Cherries; Divine Summer Fruits; Scrumptious Strawberry; Crisp Red Apple; and Zingy Lemon & Lime flavours.

Cotton said emerging consumer trends such as demand for regional provenance, and a flight to traditional, heritage brands and flavours such as dandelion and burdock offered potential. And increasing concern for social responsibility and environmental issues meant it was important to communicate efforts made in these areas to the consumer, he added. The new Perfectly Clear brand comes in 55% recycled polyethylene terephthalate bottles, for example.

The transformed Silver Spring also recognised the need to collaborate with the rest of the soft drinks trade to achieve eco-friendly and socially responsible goals, said Cotton.

Currently, 40% of Silver Spring's sales are attributed to branded products, 55% to retailers' own labels and 5% to contract packing services.

Market intelligence firm Zenith International estimates it is the third biggest UK own-label soft drinks manufacturer by volume.

Related topics: Drinks

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