Lucozade Ribena Suntory Ltd reformulated its portfolio in response to the sugar levy introduced in the UK in April 2018, in order to keep the unit prices of its products low. This reformulation has adversely affected volume sales of Lucozade Energy due to the negative consumer reaction to its new taste.
Despite projected increases in both off-trade volume and value sales for sports drinks, functional bottled water may hamper this performance over the forecast period. Indeed, British consumers are looking for more natural options and although sport drinks are considered healthier than energy drinks, they contain artificial sweeteners and colouring, which are perceived as unhealthy among the population.
Sports drinks sales are increasing, led by the on-the-go trend. For instance, in 2018 most major retailers included sports drinks in their meal deal options.
Lucozade Ribena Suntory Ltd continued to be the undisputed leader in sports drinks in both off-trade volume and value sales in 2018. The company continues to gain share from all other major companies in the category, posting increases in off-trade volume and value terms due to the unsuccessful reformulation of Lucozade Energy.
In recent years, despite the weak performance of sports drinks, players have tried to penetrate the category. In 2017, Boost Drinks Ltd implemented a new strategy for its isotonic sports drinks range available exclusively in independent retailers.
Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd and Britvic Soft Drinks Ltd with their respective brands, Powerade and Gatorade, continue to register a decrease in off-trade volume and value sales. The main reason for their weak performance is the consequence of several years without innovation and scarce promotional activities.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Soft Drinks market research database.