Soft drinks innovation driven by three key trends

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Soft drinks innovation will be driven by Gen Z, health and energy, claims Britvic
Soft drinks innovation will be driven by Gen Z, health and energy, claims Britvic

Related tags Drinks

Gen Z, maximising health and energy drinks were the key trends driving innovation and new product development in the soft drinks category, according to Britvic.

Speaking on the Retailer Hub stage at this year’s National Convenience Show – part of William Reed’s UK Food and Drink Shows – Britvic retail director Ben Parker highlighted three areas drinks manufacturers should pay attention when developing new products.

How you can recruit Gen Z

“We believe those shoppers ​[Gen Z] have a £72m opportunity,” ​said Parker. “We can really delve into their priorities, their understanding – we’re really building our understanding.

“Gen Z shoppers are looking for new tasting liquids, they’re looking for ‘new news’. You need to build the right education and plans around that in order to attract them.

“New flavours, new rotations, points of difference, not just in drinks but in other categories as well – that really appeals to Gen Z, so making sure your innovation pipeline is right is critical.”

Parker also highlighted the use of social media to help drive attention to brands and the innovation that are purported to offer. The platforms can also help drive home the ethics of the brands – one example he gave was Tango and the work done in collaboration with the Prince’s Trust.

Maximise health as a trend,

Commenting on the importance of health and wellbeing for the growth of soft drinks, Parker highlighted the potential £52m opportunity this sector could offer.

“Sixty nine percent f shoppers are trying to proactively to lead a healthier lifestyle and we’ve found that 58% of shoppers want to see healthier drinks, but they find it confusing,” ​he added.

“You need the right balance of no sugar and sugar ranges, but it’s critical to provide choice. Pairing wellness with snacking can actually be an incremental sales opportunity as well.”

Energy drinks

“Fifty three percent of the population claim to feel tired,”​ Parker continued. “The energy category remains in significant growth, but only one in 10 people are buying in.

“Energy has been the fastest growing category in the last year and it’s only second to the cola category, but the barriers to entry do still exist – consumers say, ‘it has too much sugar’ or ‘it will impact my sleep’.

“Natural energy has been area that has really been moving forward, and we also see consumers want more than just stimulant energies – iced coffee is important. Going back to Gen Z, bringing news and excitement to the category will bring people in.”

Soft drinks industry observations: Britvic

  • Huge market worth £22bn and the food to go market is buoyant
  • 15% of “missions” are people going to get a soft drink
  • Soft drinks are a big and strategically important market worth around £5.7bn
  • Bigger than biscuits and chocolate and some other categories like wine
  • 200 cans sold every single second
  • 32 million buyers
  • On-the-go drinks has added £820m over the last five years
  • £1bn opportunity by 2025.

Related topics NPD Drinks

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