In its annual report Creating new choices, just published, the BSDA said fruit juice consumption fell by 5% in 2013 to 1.05bn litres.
While the value of the sector rose from 2010 to 2012, the organisation said it had declined since then, from £1.9bn in 2012 to £1.8bn last year.
The trend reflected a wider decline in volume sales since 2007, only interrupted by a slight uptick in 2010, figures indicated.
Smoothies also continued to struggle, with volume sales falling 4.6% to 50M litres as high prices drove shoppers to migrate to other soft drink options, the report stated.
“Fruit juice is not the drink of choice in hot weather and as such the sector failed to benefit from the good summer,” it claimed. “Rising prices and tighter budgets meant consumers bought less often and less per trip. However, they were more likely to buy better – chilled fruit juice continued to take a share from ambient.”
By contrast, the hot summer boosted volume sales of still and juice drinks, including iced tea, sports drinks, still flavoured water and non-fruit drinks, by 6.2%, from 1.4bn litres to 1.5bn litres. The value of the category also rose by 4% to £1.9bn.
Energy drinks, in contrast to sports drinks, were also strong performers last year, with volume sales rising by 5.1% to 500M litres. However, value sales showed less growth, indicating price competition in the category continued to be fierce, according to the BSDA. Meanwhile, sports drinks declined in volume and value.
Volume and value sales of carbonated drinks also rose, as did the value of dilutable drinks such as cordials and squashes, although their consumption fell slightly.
Bottled water biggest winner
But bottled water was the biggest winner in 2013, with volume and value sales massively up on the previous year, by 10.4% (3.3% in 2012) and 13.4% (8% in 2012) respectively, the BSDA claimed. That helped drive overall soft drinks sales up by 2% in volume to 14.2bn litres and 4.1% in value to £15.6bn.
“Last year’s sales increase, buoyed by some much needed warm, sunny weather should serve as a reminder that this sector continues to provide opportunities for growth,” said BSDA director general Gavin Partington, commenting on the report.
“However, product innovation has also been key to this sector’s success. By investing in new product development, reformulation and smaller portion sizes our sector continues to lead the way in providing more choices for health-conscious consumers.”
To access the full report, click here.