Softly does it!

As with several other key categories, health and wellness trends increasingly influenced the Irish soft drinks market during the past year. In fact, Euromonitor reports the best performances came from manufacturers which positioned their brands as natural, healthy and sugar-free. Gillian Hamill reports on the innovations which are reinvigorating the sector

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18 April 2017 | 0

AT A GLANCE: SOFT DRINKS

  • Carbonated drinks still account for 46% of the market*
  • The soft drinks category has experienced a 42% growth in ‘health and functional’ products and continued water growth
  • The health market in Ireland and a demand for zero calorie soft drinks is set to grow the category by €300 million by 2020
  • Bottled water in Ireland is expected to post an off-trade value CAGR of 2% at constant 2016 prices over the forecast period, reaching sales of €192 million in 2021*
  • Carbonates in Ireland remained flat in off-trade current value terms in 2016 with sales of around EUR442 million. This was, however, an improvement on the 1% value decline recorded the previous year*

(Source: Euromonitor – www.euromonitor.com/ireland)


A recent Euromonitor report has illustrated an interesting shift in the soft drinks sector. ‘Soft Drinks in Ireland’, published in February of 2016, states that Ireland’s sales of juices, concentrates and bottled water sales are on the increase, while carbonates and sports energy drinks are showing a general trend of decline.

That is only half the picture though. The report also states that fizzy drinks still account for 46% of the market, while ongoing economic recovery is seeing increased spend on higher-quality soft drinks and more esoteric flavours.

The takeaway from this brief analysis is that a well-stocked soft drinks fridge with a wide selection for consumers is key for any store. Below, we explore these newer options along with some of the household names, allowing retailers to identify a balance that will suit their shelves.

Boosting its look

Boost’s logo has been updated with a more contemporary feel

Boost’s logo has been updated with a more contemporary feel

Challenger brand Boost Drinks is looking to increase its share of the energy drinks market with striking new packaging that will be introduced across all its SKUs over the next few months.

This evolution of Boost’s brand identity will provide improved differentiation and stand-out. The logo has been updated with a more contemporary feel, featuring a new font that reflects energy and movement.

Boost’s 250ml can Original and Sugar Free, 500ml and 1 litre bottle, four can multi-pack and Sport Orange, Mixed Berry and Tropical Berry, comprise the brand’s core offer

Boost’s 250ml can Original and Sugar Free, 500ml and 1 litre bottle, four can multi-pack and Sport Orange, Mixed Berry and Tropical Berry, comprise the brand’s core offer

Boost’s new branding and packaging is fresh, relevant and will resonate with the consumer, creating greater on-shelf impact both with the logo and also the various flavours and their respective colourways.

Boost’s core offer comprises the 250ml can Original and Sugar Free, 500ml and 1 litre bottle, four can multi-pack and Sport Orange, Mixed Berry and Tropical Berry – all of which are price-marked.

As part of the brand refresh, the ‘special offer’ reference has been removed, highlighting the fact that the great value of Boost is not just a short-term gimmick.

Founder and managing director Simon Gray comments: “This is an evolution, not a revolution! Having celebrated our 15th anniversary in 2016, we felt the time was right to review our packaging, bringing it right up to date and injecting more personality into the design.”

The new branding will be supported with various in-store POS activations throughout the year.

For more information on Boost visit www.boostdrinks.com/trade.

Time-honoured botanical brew

Hand-crafted using the finest natural ingredients, Fentimans’ soft drinks are available in 125ml and 250ml formats

Fentimans has been making the finest quality natural, botanical drinks since 1905. The company’s award-winning beverages are hand crafted, using the finest natural ingredients from all around the world. To create a superior taste unlike other carbonated drinks, Fentimans makes its drinks using the time-honoured botanical brewing technique. This traditional process takes a full seven days from start to finish.

The Fentimans mixers range is available in 125ml and 250ml formats

It is this traditional botanical brewing process that produces the depth of flavour, mouth-feel and rich texture which are the hallmark of Fentimans’ drinks today. This is the Fentimans way which has stood the test of time – with the knowledge and expertise being passed from generation to generation of the Fentimans family. The result is a superior tasting, natural range of beverages. Along with its solid range of soft drinks to be enjoyed on their own, Fentimans also produces a broad range of mixers that are an ideal match for a variety of premium spirits. Fentimans soft drinks and mixers are available for both on and off-trade. Soft drinks are available in 275ml and 750ml while the mixers range is available in 125ml and 250ml.

Available nationwide, Fentimans is distributed by C&C Gleeson, one of the country’s leading manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers to the Irish drinks industry. For more information, visit www.fentimans.com.

Showing off its curves!

Finches’ new-look 500ml curved bottle is complemented by a full-wrap label

Finches’ new-look 500ml curved bottle is complemented by a full-wrap label

Just in time for summer, one of Ireland’s favourite carbonated drinks’ brands, Finches is stepping out in style with a new-look 500ml curved bottle, the shape of which is complemented by a full-wrap label.

The brand confidently asserts its new-look 500ml pack is worthy of a place on the catwalks of Dublin, Milan and Paris – bringing a touch of style to the soft drinks category!

The premium drink is available in low calorie Pink Lemonade, iconic Sparkling Orange and a favourite amongst both men and women, Rock Shandy. Portability is key and the relaunched 500ml is an ideal size for on-the-go consumers looking for a refreshing thirst quencher.

So what else makes the new 500ml Finches range a hit? Well, according to Justine Byrne, brand manager for Finches, it’s the curved bottle design that’s so comfortable to hold; it’s the new, full-wrap label that ensures real stand out on shelf and it’s the fantastic flavours that consumers are mad about.

“What’s also important to consumers is that Finches is produced in Ireland, uses only the best juices and the finest quality ingredients, including Irish Spring Water, which is rare in the soft drinks category,” says Byrne. “After that, it’s just a great, much-loved brand that evokes fond memories of long summers and days out spent with friends.”

Finches is anticipating a busy season ahead with an on shelf presence bursting with energy and colour.

Available nationwide, Finches is distributed by C&C Gleeson, one of the country’s leading manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers to the Irish drinks industry.

Finches will be supporting the relaunch of the 500ml pack with a range of in-store point of sale (POS) activity that will help trade customers unlock strong sales and growth potential.

Flipping marvellous!

Padraig McEneaney, CEO of Celtic Pure, with Irish internationals; Daryl Horgan, Andy Boyle and Callum O’Dowda who feature in the ‘Flip It’ campaign

Padraig McEneaney, CEO of Celtic Pure, with Irish internationals; Daryl Horgan, Andy Boyle and Callum O’Dowda who feature in the ‘Flip It’ campaign

Celtic Pure, the official water sponsor of the FAI, has launched its most recent campaign, the ‘Flip It’ Challenge. The challenge offers fans the chance to win the Ultimate Fan Experience for the Ireland vs Austria game on 11 June this year. The best bottle flipping videos will be narrowed down to four entries and it will be up to the public to vote for their favourite.

Flipping the campaign into action with their professional ball skills but amateur bottle skills were Irish internationals; Daryl Horgan, Andy Boyle and Callum O’Dowda who feature in the campaign. The videos will be hosted primarily on Celtic Pure’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages and broadcast to live audiences in the Aviva during the Ireland V Wales qualifier and Ireland vs Iceland friendly.

Speaking about the competition, Padraig McEneaney, CEO of Celtic Pure said: “The Flip It challenge is a fun challenge with a seriously good prize. We encourage soccer fans to test their flip bottle skills to enter the competition using the hashtag #FlipIt. It can be any combination of bottle flip but it must be presented in video form marked with our official hashtag. I’d like to wish them good luck and I look forward to seeing the entries fly in!”

The competition closes at 10am on 4 May 2017. Visit www.celticpure.ie for more information and follow Celtic Pure on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to track the competition entries.

Going green

Green Cola has no sugar, no aspartame and no phosphoric acid, and is sweetened with Stevia

Green Cola has no sugar, no aspartame and no phosphoric acid, and is sweetened with Stevia

Green Cola, described as a revolutionary ‘guilt-free’ cola, is set to launch in Ireland and add plenty of fizz to the already intense competition in the soft drinks aisle.

With the impending arrival of the sugar tax adding more fuel to the demand for zero calorie soft drinks and a health market in Ireland that is set to grow by €300 million by 2020, Green Cola is aiming to capitalise by providing consumers with a ‘healthier choice’ and no sacrifice on great taste in the Cola segment. Green Cola is suitable for all consumers who want to keep their cola treat, but are also looking for minimal calorie intake and it even fits those with special dietary habits (e.g. diabetics, vegan, vegetarian).

What makes Green Cola unique is that it is the only no calorie cola with natural sweetener on the market – unlike competitors in the market, it has no sugar, no aspartame and no phosphoric acid, and is sweetened with stevia – a natural sweetener extracted from the stevia plant, a member of the sunflower family. The stevia plant adds no calories to the cola and has been used extensively in South America and Japan to sweeten a variety of foodstuff for generations.

Green Cola was launched in Greece in 2013 and took the market by storm, overtaking Pepsi in just three years, after claiming the New Product of the Year award in 2015. Commenting on the launch, Paul Woodward, CEO of Green Cola UK and Ireland, said: “The launch of Green Cola in Ireland is something of a watershed moment for the cola market, a category that is crying out for some level of meaningful innovation, and our brand will help to genuinely address increasing consumer concerns about their own well-being.”

Green Cola has extensive roll out plans across Ireland in both trade and restaurants, and will be stocked in SuperValu stores nationwide from 10 April with an RRP of €1.00 per 330ml can and €1.60 per 500ml bottle.

On the right road!

Road to Retail distributes the Radnor Fruits and Fizz range

Road to Retail distributes the Radnor Fruits and Fizz range

Road to Retail is delighted to exclusively introduce the first government-backed children and school compliant drinks range. The Radnor Fizz and Fruits range is available in both bottle and tetra pak formats with full support services to all Irish national retailers, convenience store groups, forecourt retailers, cash and carries and independents across Ireland.

This is truly a departure from high sugar, obesity related and bad health issue drinks which are all too present in Ireland. The consumer now has a healthy choice in Ireland too, which the distributor believes is the right choice for children.

Tetra information printable version 1.9Radnor Hills School Compliant Soft Drinks range is a tasty variety of flavoured soft drinks that all comply with the government regulations for schools, so caterers can rest assured they are making the right choice and a healthy one too. Each bottle counts as one of the recommended five-a-day and each bottle contains 150ml of fruit juice. Radnor Fruits and Radnor Fizz come in a variety of flavours which the company’s feedback shows kids absolutely love. Children need to keep hydrated throughout the school day and the brand says it is here to help do that.

Flavours in the Radnor Fruits range include Peach, Apple, Forest Fruits, Orange, Tropical and Raspberry & Cherry. Meanwhile the Radnor Fizz flavours are Peach, Apple, Forest Fruits, Orange, Tropical and Sour Cherry.

The advantages of the range include that it offers a 50% fruit juice and spring water beverage that is preservative free and fully school compliant. It is available in Tetra prism packs, with tasty refreshing flavours. It is ambient with six months’ shelf life and no added sugar.

The Radnor Fruits Tetra range offers the brand’s market leading Radnor Fruits drink in a 125ml and 200ml Tetra prism pack.
It is perfect for school catering and popping in lunch boxes. As stated earlier, the drinks are 100% school compliant, and now with the new pack sizes they offer something for primary and secondary schools. What’s inside is already tried and tested, the packaging is new – but the product is better than ever, according to Radnor.

With two handy pack sizes, Apple, Orange and Forest Fruits are available in 125ml, while Tropical, Apple, Forest Fruits, Raspberry & Cherry and Orange are available in the 200ml size.

For more information, contact Road to Retail at roadtoretail@eircom.net or telephone the sales team on
087 9470880.

New juice on the block

All Vegified varieties contain 30% vegetable and fruit juice, are fortified with vitamins and contain 60 calories or less per 300ml bottle

All Vegified varieties contain 30% vegetable and fruit juice, are fortified with vitamins and contain 60 calories or less per 300ml bottle

We all know that a diet rich in fruit and vegetables contributes to good overall health – and Vegified wants to make it easier to get that veggie, fruity goodness on-the-go.

The new tasty, nutritious and affordable vegetable and fruit drink from Vegified is fortified with vitamins – making a healthy boost easier in a busy lifestyle.

With four exciting flavours, the new great-tasting Vegified range includes Beetroot & Strawberry; Pumpkin Ginger & Orange; Cucumber & Lime and Bell Pepper & Orange. All varieties contain 30% vegetable and fruit juice, are fortified with vitamins and contain 60 calories or less per 300ml bottle.

It’s a great way to get your greens into you, or for that matter pinks, oranges and reds
as well!

Each bottle of goodness contains six vitamins: Vitamin C, Niacin, B6, B1, Biotin and B12. These essential vitamins are vital to support a healthy immune system, healthy joints, teeth, bones, hair and skin. They contribute to, and support, a good metabolism, while reducing tiredness and fatigue*.

Vegified’s marketing manager Shane McQuaid said: “I am so excited to launch Vegified, our new vegetable and juice drink range fortified with vitamins. The evolution of this great-tasting range has been a labour of love and I am confident that we have crafted something completely unique for the Irish market, that meets the changing needs of the health conscious Irish consumer and also tastes and looks amazing.

“With Vegified, we will speak to those busy health-seekers who want convenient and affordable good-for you products that fit into their busy lifestyles. With every bottle of Vegified jam-packed with vitamins, we’re confident that it will appeal to those wanting to integrate a healthier boost into their diet.”

The brand’s rustic yet vibrant packaging will jump off shelf, and the product’s ingredients, vitamins and calories will be clearly displayed on bottle, along with colour-coded nutritional labelling.

Vegified will be available in 300ml packs, with an affordable RSP of €1.89/£1.45.

The tasty range launched
in-store 27 March 2017, supported by full marketing campaign to include out-of-home (OOH), digital, PR, experiential sampling and will also be supported by a full suite of impactful displays and equipment in-store.

*(Source: Vegified contains 45% nutrient reference value of six key vitamins per 300ml serving. Vegified should be consumed as part of a varied, balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.)

New hydration plus benefits range

DRR Relax 500ml LavenderDRR Relax 500ml MintRevive and Relax (R&R) is a new water range offering ‘hydration plus benefits’ from the home of Deep RiverRock.

Achieving a record year for sales in 2016, Deep RiverRock has been on a journey of growth and innovation since its introduction to the island of Ireland market in 1994. Offering an expanding favoured water range, Deep RiverRock recently moved all variants to ‘sugar free with no calories’. An increasing range of pack sizes is also available to consumers to aid greater hydration.

Now the popular water brand is launching a new Revive and Relax range, infused with minerals and herbal extracts to help direct the body where it wants to go. With four new products on offer, Deep RiverRock can help to Revive with Magnesium or Zinc and Relax with Lavender or Mint.

DRR Revive 500ml ZincDRR Revive 500ml MagnesiumThe new range supports consumers to achieve balance with a ‘Revive’ offering to help them keep going or stay ahead or a ‘Relax’ offering to help them ‘stay in the mood’ or ‘simply relax’, and it all starts with hydration, thanks to Deep RiverRock’s quality Irish water sourced from the Glens of Antrim.

Under the ‘Think Straight, Hydrate’ platform, Deep RiverRock Revive Magnesium, will encourage consumers to ‘start with hydration – and keep going’, enhanced with additional magnesium, to refresh, revive and reduce fatigue*.

Deep RiverRock Revive Zinc, urges consumers to ‘start with hydration – and stay ahead’ and is enhanced with additional zinc to revive your body while contributing to normal cognitive function*.

Encouraging relaxation, Deep RiverRock Relax Mint is infused with mint extract for a soothing experience. It will help consumers to ‘start with hydration – and stay in the mood’.

Finally, Deep RiverRock Relax Lavender is infused with lavender extract, associated with relaxation. It encourages those in need to ‘start with hydration – and take it easy’.

Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland general manager, Matthieu Seguin said: “Our business is committed to innovation and reformulation to offer a greater choice of products, in a range of pack sizes, to suit all diets and lifestyles.

“Our growing water range with Deep RiverRock plays a vital role in that commitment. We continue to offer great refreshment for our consumers, while responding to the health and wellness trends with even more products that offer hydration plus benefits.

“By continuing to innovate, we are making hydration more interesting, and we are proud to launch the latest range from Deep RiverRock that helps our consumers to ‘Revive and Relax’ with the benefits of magnesium, zinc, lavender and mint.”

Deep RiverRock marketing manager Oonagh Gildea also said: “We are truly excited to expand the Deep RiverRock family with our new Revive and Relax range. With a 42% growth in ‘health and functional’ products and continued water growth, Deep RiverRock, with its strong brand equity, is now ready to respond with a new affordable water with additional benefits.

“Aimed at health seekers, aged 25 – 44, the launch of Revive and Relax will be supported by a significant social and digital campaign, extensive sampling at Deep RiverRock’s rugby and running sponsorship platforms, PR support, in addition to a full range of point-of-sale for store.”

With a strong link to parent brand, Deep RiverRock’s Revive and Relax range will pop on shelf with striking red and purple hues in the familiar Deep RiverRock bottle shape. The benefits of each variant will be stated front of pack with the ‘R&R lozenge’ coupled with clear messaging.

The recommended retail price is ROI €1.40 | NI £1.10.

*(Revive Magnesium and Revive Zinc each contains 15% of nutrient value added)

Deep thinking

Introduced to the market in 1994, Deep RiverRock is a quality, Irish water sourced from deep beneath the glacial hills of Co. Antrim. It is rich in minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium, all naturally occurring within the source.

Deep RiverRock is proud to bring its ‘Think Straight, Hydrate’ message to consumers through a number of sponsorship platforms, with a focus on rugby and athletics. Having recently renewed its provincial rugby sponsorship contracts with Munster, Leinster, Connacht and Ulster, Deep RiverRock encourages fans and players alike to ‘Hydrate with Passion’.

It also supports a number of key running events throughout the year including the Belfast City Marathon, Belfast City Half-Marathon, the Irish Independent Fit Series, and also Queen’s University 5k. Water is also donated a number of community initiatives throughout the year to encourage more people to stay active and hydrated.

Constantly innovating to meet consumers’ needs, Deep RiverRock is now available in still, sparkling, flavours and also in a new one litre bottle. Deep RiverRock’s entire flavoured water portfolio recently moved to ‘Sugar Free with No Calories’. These great tasting drinks include Forest Fruits, Lemon & Lime and Strawberry.

The brand has also recently expanded its pack sizes, offering a convenient size for every hydration occasion. The 1 litre pack was launched in 2015 in response to consumer need for greater hydration, and Deep RiverRock Still is also available in 2l, 1.75l, a 750ml sports cap, 500ml, and an on-the-go 330ml pack.

Deep RiverRock was recognised for ‘long-term effectiveness in advertising’ at the 2016 ADFX Awards.

New Lucozade Zero calorie range

Lz Zero Orange 380ml Lz Zero Original 380ml Lz Zero Pink Lemonade 380mlOne of Ireland’s favourite impulse brands, Lucozade, recently launched its new Lucozade Zero range, offering consumers a zero calorie drink that still has the great taste synonymous with Lucozade products.

There are three variants available; Lucozade Zero Original, Lucozade Zero Orange and Lucozade Zero Pink Lemonade.

The launch is on the back of a highly successful debut for Lucozade Zero Orange and Pink in Great Britain and Northern Ireland in summer 2016. In Northern Ireland, Lucozade Zero is already the third biggest low calorie drink which shows the enormous potential of the range*.

*(Source: IRI data up to 20.12.16 – Convenience channel)

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