Levy sees consumers switching to low sugar drinks, says Britvic

Brtvic Simon Litherland soft drinks
Simon Litherland: Consumer trend of switching away from high sugar drinks
29/11/2018 - 10:43
Soft drinks company Britvic says the effects of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) have seen the UK public choosing more reduced sugar options.

Announcing its preliminary results today, which ‘delivered another strong financial performance’, chief executive Simon Litherland said: “As we anticipated, the introduction of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy and our transparent approach to differential pricing (adding the levy to full sugar products) has accelerated the consumer trend of switching away from higher sugar drinks into low and no added sugar alternatives.

“This has benefited our broad portfolio of low and no sugar brands and our approach of reformulating ahead of the market, with Pepsi Max continuing to take share, the squash category being the number one beneficiary from consumers switching post SDIL benefiting Robinsons, and our other carbonates - 7UP Free, R Whites and Tango - all in revenue growth and taking share.

“With 99% of our owned brands in Great Britain now below or exempt from the SDIL (90% of total portfolio including PepsiCo brands), we remain confident in our long-standing health strategy (removed over 20bn calories from UK diets on an annualised basis since 2013) and our approach to the levy.

“We believe that the changes in consumer trends towards low/no added sugar offer us further opportunities for growth.”

Britvic sales of carbonated drinks in Great Britain were up 4.9%, while its still drinks range rose 4.2% and ‘gained market share’.

Overall, revenue increased 5.1% to £1.5bn, with adjusted EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) increasing 5.4% and profit after tax increasing by 4.9% to £117.1m.

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