Attitudes towards Premium Soft Drinks - UK - February 2015
“Sugar attracted negative media coverage in 2014, also affecting soft drinks. That half of premium soft drinks users are interested in reduced sugar versions of these signals room for growth in this area.”
– Aimee Townshend, Research Analyst
This report looks at the following areas:
- Reduced sugar drinks appeal to half of premium soft drink users
- Decline in alcohol consumption presents opportunity for soft drinks manufacturers
- Growth opportunity for premium soft drinks in the on-trade
Despite their upmarket positioning, premium soft drinks have forged a mainstream role. Seven in 10 adults drank premium soft drinks at home in the six months up to November 2014, whilst six in 10 adults drank them in the on-trade in the same time period.
All-natural ingredients enjoy strong premium connotations with many soft drinks manufacturers already emphasising the use of natural and high-quality ingredients in their products as part of a premium positioning. A clear difference in taste from cheaper versions is also seen as an important quality in defining a soft drink as premium.
With high media attention on sugar and consumers becoming more aware of their intake, there is pressure on the soft drinks industry to reduce the sugar content of products. With natural ingredients widely seen as an important characteristic of premium soft drinks, how best to achieve reduced sugar versions without the use of artificial sweeteners and without compromising the taste is particularly pertinent to the premium market.
Three in 10 consumers drink premium soft drinks as an alternative to alcohol at home and an equal number do so in the on-trade, demonstrating the sector’s ability to position itself as an alternative to alcohol. The continuing rise of alcohol drinks prices is expected to continue to benefit soft drinks, though the expected improvements to household incomes may dampen this effect.
This report examines consumer attitudes towards premium soft drinks sold through both retail and non-retails channels. For the purpose of this report, the segment is defined by Mintel as including soft drinks positioned towards the top end of the market by price, and targeted at adults more than children across the following types of drinks:
- Fruit juice drinks (eg Amé, Shloer and Appletiser)
- 100% fruit juice
- Pressés (eg Bottlegreen) and other premium carbonated drinks
- Cordials (eg Belvoir)
- Still, sparkling and flavoured water
This report excludes:
- Energy and sport drinks such as Lucozade Sport and Red Bull. These are covered in Mintel’s Sports and Energy Drinks – UK, July 2014 report.
- Tea and coffee products. These are covered in Mintel’s Tea and Other Hot Drinks – UK, July 2014 and Coffee – UK, August 2014 reports.
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