Making the most of a golden opportunity?

Woman drinking through straw

Record temperatures, holiday season and hybrid working have created a perfect storm of opportunity for growing soft drinks sales this summer and autumn – and there’s no shortage of supplier activity to leverage in your store.


After the chaos of the last few years, it’s encouraging to see something vaguely resembling normality return to communities across Scotland. The additional bonus of some lovely hot spells and some of the hottest temperatures on record have added some more gloss to a positive sales period and few categories have benefited quite like soft drinks.

Soft drinks are the highest-selling products by volume in most stores anyway, so some blazing sunshine, some great sport, an extended holiday season and the persistence of hybrid working for many has created a whole world of opportunity to boost sales in the category even further.

Those opportunities haven’t passed suppliers by with a raft of NPD, promotions, sampling, media investment and more, helping drive fresh excitement in an already buoyant category.

XTRA Special

Barr Soft Drinks says it is set to deliver incremental sales in Scotland’s fast-growing £180m flavoured carbonates market [IRI, May 2022] with a £1m brand investment in Irn-Bru XTRA. The unmissable activity starts this month with heavyweight outdoor and digital advertising, complemented by in-store theatre.

This will be followed by a huge sampling campaign in September, getting more than half a million cans into the hands of Scottish shoppers.

“Irn-Bru XTRA is the fastest growing variant of the iconic brand, delivering extra taste with no sugar, and now accounts for over 20% of total Irn-Bru sales [IRI, Dec 2021],” says Adrian Troy, Marketing Director at Barr Soft Drinks.

“Now worth over £16m and growing at 10% versus last year [IRI, Jun 2022], Irn-Bru XTRA is a must-stock variant for all Scottish retailers and this £1m brand investment will create massive visibility for the product, driving education and trial with shoppers.”

The activity is part of a £6m annual brand investment throughout 2022, driving total incremental brand sales of Irn-Bru, the number one Scottish grocery brand [Kantar, Sep 2021].

Barr Soft Drinks advises retailers to utilise its impactful point of sale materials to create in-store theatre and drive sales whilst brand and product awareness is high. To request POS, email trademarketing@agbarr.co.uk with your store details.

Model behaviour

Diet Coke has announced that model and style icon Kate Moss has been appointed as Creative Director of the brand, the first time anyone has been appointed to this role in the brand’s 40-year history.

Moss is bringing to life a new ‘Love What You Love’ campaign that spotlights individuals who embrace a positive attitude to life by knowing who they are and what they love. She commented: “I am thrilled to join the Diet Coke family – I love the past collaborations they’ve done with such incredible names in fashion. The ‘Love What You Love’ campaign connected with me instantly as I am a firm believer that with confidence and passion, you can achieve your wildest dreams.”

As part of the campaign, a new collection of limited-edition Diet Coke can designs has been revealed, inspired by the supermodel’s iconic looks, including camo, denim, lace and leopard print.

The collection is now available alongside an on-pack promo offering fans the chance to win thousands of prizes hand-selected by Moss.

The 330ml limited-edition cans are available in 8, 10 and 12 x 330ml multipack cans. The on-pack promo will run on specially designed 500ml, 500ml PMP, 2l PET bottles and on the outer boards of the multipack cans. A supporting consumer marketing campaign featuring Kate Moss includes out-of-home advertising, social media and events.

Juicy prizes

Building on the success of last year’s trade-exclusive juice activation, Tropicana is promising to make this summer even juicier for retailers by offering them the chance to win even bigger cash prizes. With a £10,000 cash prize up for grabs for the winning retailer and another 10 x £500 runner-up prizes on offer, the campaign will run across hero SKUs from Naked, Tropicana and Copella ranges until 15 September.

To be in with a chance of winning, retailers simply have to buy any two cases of Tropicana Smooth Orange (250ml or 850ml), Tropicana Original Orange (250ml or 850ml), Naked Blue Machine (300ml), Naked Green Machine (300ml) or Copella Cloudy Apple (300ml), and text JUICY to the number on the POS materials in store. Once notified of their win, retailers will need to upload an image of their receipt of purchase.

Lucy Kent, Head of Impulse at Tropicana Brands Group, comments: “We know that Chilled Fruit Juice & Smoothies remains an incredibly important category for retailers during the summer months when consumers are looking for more refreshing options to purchase. Our hero SKUs are perfect for on-the-go drinking, and with consumers back out there enjoying the sunshine with friends and family, they can stay refreshed all day.”

Fruity campaign

Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) has announced that it is ramping up its marketing activity for Oasis this summer with a light-hearted campaign to tap into the lunchtime occasion. Launched recently, the campaign aims to show that ‘while Oasis can’t change our characters… it can refresh them’. The campaign is expected to reach 81% of young adults multiple times and will include targeted video content on social media, alongside eye-catching digital out-of-home takeovers across high footfall areas in city centres.

Worth £87m and outperforming the juice drinks segment three-fold, Oasis is the number one juice drinks brand in GB [Nielsen, Mar 2022]. This summer activity will build on the brand’s growth momentum, focusing on young adults in urban centres when they are looking for refreshment whilst on the go and to accompany their lunch.

Martin Attock, Vice President, Commercial Development at CCEP GB, said: “Across the juice drinks category we have seen sales of on-the-go formats return to growth, up 29% over the past 12 months, with Oasis on-the-go formats up over 42% [Nielsen, Mar 2022].

“We expect this trajectory to continue, particularly throughout the summer, and this new campaign will help keep Oasis front of mind with consumers on their lunchtime shopping mission.”

The Oasis range is fully HFSS-compliant, with all natural flavours and no artificial colours. Variants include Summer Fruits, Citrus Punch and Blackcurrant Apple.

Big Fruit Hunt

Robinsons, the UK’s number one squash brand [NielsenIQ, Apr 2022], is continuing with its biggest summer activity to date with the launch of its ‘Big Fruit Hunt’.

The £1.5m campaign centres around a digital Augmented reality (AR) fruit hunt, created to encourage families to flavour their water bottles with Robinsons, whenever, wherever.

The activation will inspire families to get active together this summer and ensure the Robinsons brand continues to be front of mind for shoppers across a key season for soft drinks.

Running until 2 September across Robinsons squash promo packs, a QR Code will feature on-pack where shoppers can scan and be taken to an interactive map to find virtual fruit to fill a water bottle and collect prizes. The campaign will include in-store, OOH, POS, digital and social activations.

Ben Parker, GB Retail Commercial Director at Britvic, comments: “This summer, we want to bring families together and get outdoors by taking part in the ‘Big Fruit Hunt’. Robinsons remains the number one squash brand in convenience with nearly 50% share of the category [IRI, Jan 2022]. With Robinsons Ready to Drink as the official soft drinks partner for The Hundred cricket tournament and the launch of the ‘Big Fruit Hunt’, we’re making sure that there is something for everyone this summer and drive further sales for retailers.”

To amplify the campaign, Robinsons is partnering with Heart Radio.

Over 90,000 prizes will be up for grabs in the ‘Big Fruit Hunt’ game, including bespoke Robinsons water bottles and outdoor activity kits.

Cap it all

Coca-Cola Great Britain recently launched its innovative new ‘attached caps’ solution on its plastic bottles making it easier to recycle the entire package and ensure no cap gets left behind.

Production of bottles with attached caps began at CCEP’s site in East Kilbride in May, meaning that consumers in Scotland will have already started seeing new caps attached to 1.5l bottles of Fanta, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar and Diet Coke. The switch is set to be completed for all plastic bottles across Coca-Cola GB’s range of brands by early 2024.

All of Coca-Cola’s bottles, including the caps, have been 100% recyclable for many years but not all are being recycled. Bottle caps are often discarded and littered. The new design means that the cap stays connected to the bottle after opening, so the whole plastic bottle and attached cap can be recycled together, reducing the potential for it to be littered while still giving consumers a positive drinking experience.

Coca-Cola is the first major soft drinks company to announce the switch across its entire range in Great Britain. The move also follows CCEP’s transition to Shrink to Board packs at its Sidcup manufacturing site last year, alongside light-weighting of its aluminium cans, which are now 22% lighter than just two years ago.

CCEP is starting the changeover to attached caps initially from its bottling plant in East Kilbride, followed later this year by its site in Edmonton, North London and the rest of its sites in GB over the next 18 months.

Stephen Moorhouse, General Manager at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, Great Britain said: “This is a small change that we hope will have a big impact, ensuring that when consumers recycle our bottles, no cap gets left behind.

“The move is just one of the steps we’re taking as part of our This is Forward sustainability action plan, which targets six key social and environmental areas where the business has a significant impact and forms a key element of our 2040 net zero target.”

Fever fusion

Nisa’s team of Retail Development Managers (RDMs) have been gleaning expert advice from Fever Tree to further their support of independent retailers and help grow sales. At an event recently held in Manchester, Fever Tree teamed up with the Nisa field team to enhance knowledge of their products, share details about NPDs and explain how to support Nisa partners in merchandising their range.

The session forms part of an ongoing project led by Nisa’s Head of Retail, Victoria Lockie, to strengthen the expertise of RDMs and in doing so, improve the support offered to Nisa retailers.

Lockie said: “It’s really important that we continue to help develop the team by offering these opportunities for education on categories and brands, so they know their subject and are well informed when it comes to speaking to partners.”

Beth Bailey, National Account Executive at Fever Tree, said: “Sessions like these are brilliant to help us share information about our products and improve understanding of the products in the marketplace.”

Monster ranges

CCEP has brought is bringing more flavour to the energy drinks chiller with the arrival of Monster Ultra Gold and Monster Khaotic to maintain momentum behind the Monster brand – the single biggest contributor to soft drinks category growth in the last year [Nielsen, Jan 2022].

With zero sugar, easy-drinking Ultra Gold has the fresh flavour of “biting into a perfectly ripened golden pineapple”, says CCEP, giving consumers a tasty and refreshing energy boost with no calories.

Monster Ultra Gold’s fresh flavour and shiny gold packs are designed to appeal to new and existing Monster fans, helping retailers tap into the continued popularity of the sugar-free, HFSS-compliant energy drinks.

Monster Ultra remains the No.1 zero sugar energy drinks range in GB, up a massive 41.4% in value [Nielsen, Jan 2022].

Monster Khaotic is a shake-up of one of the original Monster Juiced variants launched more than a decade ago when real fruit juice was first combined with the functionality of energy drinks. Today, the Monster Juiced range is worth £75m and in 60% growth [Nielsen, Jan 2022].

Fast forward to 2022 and the tropical orange twist of Monster Khaotic combined with Monster’s famous energy blend has been lightened up and juice blend adjusted to deliver a taste “best experienced, rather than described”. A bold and bright packaging design has been created by legendary street artist RISK, bringing his iconic West Coast style and vibrant presentation to capture the spirit of Monster Khaotic and deliver maximum impact on-shelf.

Both are available in both plain and price-marked 500ml packs for shoppers to enjoy on the go.

Point-of-sale materials including shelf strips, totems, wobblers, free-standing display units and more are available to drive excitement in-store. Convenience retailers can request POS materials via My.CCEP.com.

CCEP and the Monster Energy Co have also launched the next phase of its Sales Supercharged convenience retailer support initiative. The site offers advice from convenience retailers that have super charged their energy drinks sales and can be found at www.salessupercharged.com.

Biffa bags it

With a year until Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) goes live, scheme administrator Circularity Scotland has announced leading sustainable waste management company Biffa as its logistics partner.

The agreement comes after several months of close collaboration between the organisations as they progress towards DRS going live in August 2023 and is expected to create around 500 jobs in Scotland to support the collection, sorting and counting of products within scope of the scheme.

Circularity Scotland is also working with Biffa to explore the opportunity to build a PET recycling plant in Scotland to support the scheme and deliver further employment opportunities.

Biffa will take responsibility for the work of collecting billions of drinks bottles and cans from return points across the length and breadth of Scotland each year, as well as managing the bulking and counting centres that will process material for recycling.

David Harris, CEO of Circularity Scotland, said: “Bringing on board Biffa as our logistics service provider is another landmark moment in this work and their unparalleled expertise in supporting large scale and complex recycling schemes will help us to achieve the aim of capturing and recycling at least 90% of drinks containers made from PET plastic, aluminium, steel or glass.”

Games on

CCEP is currently raising brand awareness through its role as the Official Soft Drinks Provider to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, which are taking place this month at venues across the city, featuring around 4,500 athletes from 72 nations and territories.

CCEP is supplying Coca-Cola Zero Sugar to the one million spectators expected to attend the Games, alongside a number of their other products. CCEP will be supporting Birmingham 2022 in its ambition to be the first Commonwealth Games with a carbon-neutral legacy, with activity focused around three of the Games’ key sustainability pillars – carbon and air quality, conservation, and circular economy principles, to minimise waste.

All bottles sold at the venues’ outlets are 100% recyclable and have been produced from 100% recycled plastic. CCEP is working closely with Birmingham 2022’s waste management and recycling providers, including Games sponsor Biffa, to ensure that plastics collected from all Games sites are processed and recycled. Messaging will be present on all catering outlets reminding customers to recycle their empty packaging.

The soft drinks manufacturer is using low carbon options transport where possible, such as electric vehicles, to ensure products arrive at venues in a sustainable way.

Relentless NPD

Relentless has launched a new Zero Sugar range which includes two flavours – Peach and Raspberry – and bold new pack design to broaden the appeal of the brand.

Relentless Zero Sugar Peach and Relentless Zero Sugar Raspberry are available now and boast a light and refreshing energy blend without the sugar. The new duo will feature eye-catching white and pink/peach can designs whilst retaining the recognisable Relentless ‘R’ motif in the centre of the pack.

The new fruity variants are designed to fuel additional growth of the Relentless brand, which is up 10% in value over the past year [Nielsen, Mar 2022]. It will also help retailers tap into the growth of the wider energy drinks category and the continued popularity of sugar-free, HFSS-compliant drinks.

Relentless Zero Sugar Peach and Relentless Zero Sugar Raspberry are available in both plain and price-marked 500ml big cans for shoppers to enjoy on the go.