Concentrates, driven by the liquid format, is set to strengthen its off-trade performance in 2020 in a continuation of a positive trend already emerging in 2019. Traditionally, concentrates targets families with children, but the category has seen efforts by players to expand the main consumer group towards the end of the review period to reach a more mature demographic through sophisticated flavour options evolving from the traditional mint and strawberry variants to elderflower, rhubarb and mandarin options.
Powder concentrates, dominated by sports drinks, has been declining in popularity in the UK for many years due to growing competition from sports drinks and functional bottled water. The emergence of the pandemic and subsequent lockdown measures, which saw all sports centres and gyms initially closed, resulted in significant declines for dominant brands such as Isostar and Gatorade, as they are predominantly used by active consumers whilst they train at the gym.
Britvic Soft Drinks Ltd, which offers the Robinsons brand of liquid concentrates, is set to strengthen its overall convincing leadership of concentrates in 2020, initially bolstered by stay at home measures during the first lockdown, and beyond, heading into an early hot summer. The soft drink brand’s business strategy towards the end of the review period had been to focus on valuing premium experiences and its latest portfolio expansion, with the “Fruit Creations” and “Fruit Cordials” ranges.
Due to the COVID-19-induced economic recession and added pressure on households’ purchasing power, liquid concentrates is expected to continue to perform well in 2021 due to its affordability, before returning to some level of normalisation in terms of demand from 2022 onwards. Players are likely to continue to explore flavour innovation, high fruit juice content, and reduced or no sugar variants to keep in line with health and wellness trends, while still attempting to expand the target audience with more premium options to attract older consumers.
PepsiCo acquired Israeli company SodaStream in 2018, which sells machines and cylinders to make carbonated water at home. SodaStream also launched flavoured concentrates from PepsiCo’s 10 most popular soft drinks in 2020 in France, Germany and Norway, including popular brands such as Pepsi Max, Pepsi, 7-Up and 7-Up Free.
While powder concentrates is predicted to see an upturn in demand over the early part of the forecast period, likely spurred by the return to gyms, the category is set to return to declines from 2024 onwards and is therefore not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels in terms of actual volume. This is likely to be due to growing competition from energy drinks, sports drinks and functional bottled water which have consistently expanded their offer to match consumers’ ever-growing sophisticated needs.
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