UK soft drinks industry poll
This year’s UK Soft Drinks Industry Conference, organised by Zenith Global in conjunction with the British Soft Drinks Association, attracted a record number of delegates to focus on its theme of ‘Crafting the future.’ Among a variety of delegate polls …
• 46% expected 2019 UK soft drinks volume growth of 2-3.9%, with 31% saying more than 23% saying less.
• 66% believed plastic/sustainability/waste is the biggest issue facing the industry today, compared with 20% for sugar/obesity/health.
• 47% felt functionality/added benefit is the biggest opportunity, with 27% opting for craft/personal/premium and 20% for wellness/natural.
• On packaging sustainability, 40% selected consumer education as the first priority, followed by 24% for collection consistency and 19% for recycling capacity.
• On the Soft Drinks Industry Levy’s effect, 60% viewed it as positive, 30% negligible and 10% negative.
• For the best future impact on sugar concerns, 33% chose sweetener naturalness, 26% sweetener taste and 15% a wider sugar tax.
• The greatest adult soft drink opportunity was perceived to be alcohol free beer/wine/spirits with 39% support, followed by herbal/botanical with 29% and mixers with 17%.
The British Soft Drinks Association reaffirms its position:
“We have always questioned the notion that a tax on one ingredient let alone one category offered the best way to address obesity.
“It’s also ironic that the tax focused on the one category that had taken significant steps to reduce sugar intake. Between Spring 2012 and Spring 2016, prior to the announcement of the levy, sugar intake from soft drinks was down by over 15% due variously to reformulation, smaller pack sizes and investment in promotion of no- and low-calorie products.
“We recognise that the levy prompted some parts of the sector to move further and faster on reformulation but there remains no evidence that it has had any impact on levels of obesity.”