After a tough 2020 due to the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, bringing with it government measures like lockdowns and foodservice closures, the foodservice channel in the UK started to see more activity in 2021, especially after the spring, when the country started to reopen. This led to a recovery across all pack types in foodservice soft drinks in 2021, after the major decline seen in 2020, when the pandemic first hit the UK.
In the retail channel, some pack types, such as metal beverage cans, saw unexpected increases in unit volumes during 2020 as consumers spent more time at home. With the gradual relaxation of the lockdown rules, the reopening of the foodservice channel and the vaccination rate increasing at a fast pace, retail volumes for these key pack types went into decline in 2021.
As consumers searched for functionality in their selection of soft drinks, this played in favour of the categories that already have it in their nature, such as energy drinks and RTD coffee. This led to continued growth of metal beverage cans for RTD coffee in both 2020 and 2021, with glass bottles also doing well in this product area, albeit growing from a relatively small base, thanks to their rising popularity in RTD coffee as a more premium product.
While sustainability might have taken a bit of a back seat due to the onset of COVID-19, players in the soft drinks market continue to strive to improve the sustainability of its packaging, particularly for plastic packaging. For example, in 2021, Coca-Cola UK announced the start of the first production of its new Shrink to Board pack.
As lockdown restrictions are relaxed, impulse purchases and on-the go consumption are expected to regain momentum in the UK. This should, in turn, benefit the smaller pack sizes that are ideal for on-the go consumption.
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Soft Drinks Packaging
This is the aggregation of Asian speciality drinks, bottled water, carbonates, concentrates, fruit/vegetable juice, RTD coffee, RTD tea, and sports and energy drinks.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Soft Drinks Packaging research and analysis database.
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