Health really is hitting mark

Figures show shift to low and no

Low and no sugar variants are shining in soft drinks

Much has been made of the pivot towards healthier options on display across categories, but are shoppers really shifting towards better-for-you products?

For the soft drinks category, the answer would seem to be yes, helped along in part by the actions of producers.

James Logan, commercial director at Refresco UK – the firm behind Sunny D, Ocean Spray, Del Monte and Mac B – explained: “Drinks overall are getting healthier. The new standard level of sugar in drinks is below 5g per 100ml vs. 10g per 100ml a few years ago.

“Of course, there are still some brand exceptions but many juice drink brands like Del Monte, Sunpride and Sunny D had been reducing sugar for the preceding years before the [Soft Drinks Industry Levy] which meant there was minimal impact.”

Across carbonates we have seen regular colas decline by 22% in volume in the last year.

Retailers who don’t switch on to healthier options could be missing out, as Logan reckons traditional full sugar drinks are suffering at the hands of the sugar tax.

“Across carbonates we have seen regular colas decline by 22% in volume in the last year, whilst diet and no added sugar volumes have grown 13%, which ultimately has seen the cola category decline by 1%. Diet and no added sugar now makes up 68% of category volume in colas.

“In functional energy, regular sugar drinks make up 78% of category volume but these are now showing 2% volume decline, whilst diet and no added sugar ranges are growing 23% – overall the functional energy category is growing 3%.”