Growth in store for convenience, says Britvic

Soft drinks remains king of convenience retail

Soft drinks giant Britvic has laid out the opportunities for convenience retailers to make the most out of in its annual Soft Drinks Review.

THE convenience retail channel continues to go from strength to strength according to soft drinks giant Britvic who has highlighted the growth opportunities in its Soft Drinks Review 2024.

According to Britvic, soft drinks sales grew by 15.3% in 2023, reaching a total value of £3.3billion. While this number is undoubtedly impressive, the soft drinks giant says this positive outlook is set to continue going forward.

Britvic found that nearly two thirds of shoppers now use c-stores regularly, with the majority of these shoppers coming from younger and more affluent families which is helping to boost basket size and spend.

Ben Parker, retail commercial director at Britvic, said: “There’s no denying the important role soft drinks are playing in the convenience sector.

“But it’s crucial that retailers have a solid understanding of the fundamental reasons why people are buying soft drinks.

“Only then will we together be able to fully tap into the opportunities on offer through soft drinks and reap the rewards.

These shifting consumer behaviours present new opportunities for convenience retailers, says Britvic, particularly when it comes to the forecourt channel.

The Soft Drinks Review pointed out that forecourt are one of the key driving forces behind the growth of the convenience channel, with total sales – including all goods and fuel – through forecourts growing by 2.8% to £4.6billion in 2023.

Britvic says that more consumers are seeing forecourt sites as more viable options for their shops, such as for top-up missions or for buying meals for later on in the day, presenting a major opportunity for forecourt operators to capitalise on.

Further to this, there is also the chance to drive sales from electric vehicle drivers, who have to spend a longer time at the store to charge their cars and, thus, could drive further spend during their wait.

Parker reckons more retailers should be ready to adapt to the changing nature of forecourts and jump on the chance to drive up further sales across their sites, especially when it comes to soft drinks.

“Research shows, for example, that people are twice as likely to be looking for an energy boost in forecourts than they are when they visit outlets in the wider convenience retail sector.

“Despite this, the number of shoppers who buy energy drinks from forecourts remains surprisingly low, with only 2.1% of forecourt shoppers currently buying them. There’s an opportunity here for the taking.”